A Criminal Psychologist’s Fall from Grace

A Criminal Psychologist’s Fall from Grace


Therapy is similar to being interviewed
– make the client feel relaxed – it is non-confrontational in approach
– begin the process of mirroring
– if there is good rapport, the person begins mirroring your body language
– it is being highly empathetic with the client
– in the criminal/forensic psychology sphere, it can be an intimidating process
– it is also non-judgmental
– eye contact is as per a normal conversation
– psychologist’s by definition – need to be “a bit” directive & need to ask probing questions to drill down (prior life, social history, family dynamics, education, employment history, AOD use & it’s impacts etc.,)
– interviewee believes criminal psychology is both science & art
– psychometric testing to firm up on preliminary diagnosis
– people fascinate him & the motivation of human behaviour
– he came to criminal psychology by accident
– fear is a short-term motivator | insight is far more effective

he interviewed Julian Kinight, The Hoddle Street Massacre Shooter (9/8/17):
– says Knoght was a confused 19 year old used to the “military way”
– says Knoght was “extremely deferential” & cooperative
– he was not psychotic & did not have a disease of the mind
– Knoght was convicted of murder & received a life sentence
– there were some issues: bastardised relentlessly at Duntroon
– he believes Knight acted out of anger & frustration & notes Knit is a “highly intelligent guy” with the intelligence to be admitted to MENSA (FSIQ > 132)
– all his life he had wanted to be a soldier (like his father) & had moved schools to be in the cadet corps
– the psychologist notes that he is not in any way sympathetic to the crime committed by Knight

– he believes it is sad how society is increasingly glamourising crime
– he discussed his descent into drug abuse

– drugs impact your neurochemistry – affects the PFC – impulse control, judgment, lose perspective etc.,

– he says the central tenet of psychopathy: they feel no empathy, remorse or sympathy for their victims
– he says most people in jail have lost their way, had impoverished backgrounds, brutalised upbringings &/or ice addictions (drugs)
– he believes self-care is important for psychologist – he now has regular supervision regarding cases & impacts on his mood of particular cases

Source: ABCRN | Conversations | Podcast date: 11 July 2016


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