The Batterer: A Psychological Profile

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Drawing on his pathbreaking studies of more than 700 abusive men-as well as therapy with hundreds more-psychologist Donald G. Dutton here paints a dramatic and startling portrait of the man who assaults his intimate partner, such as admitted abusers like lawyer Joel Steinberg, sports celebrity 0. J. Simpson, and choreographer Peter Martins. With dramatic case histories that shed light on the dark secrets of spousal abuse, and with its singular focus on the personality of the abuser, rather than that of the ...
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The Batterer: A Psychological Profile

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Overview

Drawing on his pathbreaking studies of more than 700 abusive men-as well as therapy with hundreds more-psychologist Donald G. Dutton here paints a dramatic and startling portrait of the man who assaults his intimate partner, such as admitted abusers like lawyer Joel Steinberg, sports celebrity 0. J. Simpson, and choreographer Peter Martins. With dramatic case histories that shed light on the dark secrets of spousal abuse, and with its singular focus on the personality of the abuser, rather than that of the victim, The Batterer provides the missing link to show how men can harm the women they love and how we can begin to put an end to violence behind closed doors.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
University of British Columbia psychology professor Dutton specializes in treating batterers. A batterer's mind, he says, is ``a place of anguish and self-loathing.'' Writing with Golant (coauthor with Rosalyn Carter of Helping Yourself Help Others) he discusses the symptoms, characteristics and, in some cases, the cure for such violent behavior. Most repeat batterers, he maintains, suffer from a fragile sense of self, usually the result of a shaming father, an only intermittently available mother and violence in the family. For the batterer, an episode of violence involves three stages: buildup of tension, battering and contrition. Dutton rejects neurological and metabolic causes and sees symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in the fear-filled attachment of the batterer to the woman he batters, whom he needs. Dutton shows how group therapy has occasionally been successful in treating batterers. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Spousal abuse has been getting more press these days, thanks partly to the O.J. Simpson trial. Dutton, an expert witness for the prosecution in the trial, and coauthor Golant, draw on this "trial of the century" to help elucidate their points regarding wife batterers. As sensationalistic as that sounds, the authors never stoop to tabloid journalism; their considered use of information from the Simpson trial actually increases the book's accessibility for general readers. In addition, Dutton, director of the Assaultive Husbands Program in Vancouver, also draws on the case studies of other, less-well-known abusers he has dealt with. Dutton and Golant provide an excellent introduction to the psychology of wife abusers, examining the different types of abusers: psychopathic, overcontrolled, and cyclical. They then narrow the focus to the cyclical abuser the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type exemplified by Simpson and examine the different factors that go into making such an abuser. The authors also offer a link between posttraumatic stress syndrome and spousal abuse. They have produced a cogent and interesting book that deserves a place in both public and undergraduate libraries.Pamela A. Matthews, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465033874
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and the director of the Assaultive Husbands Program in Vancouver. Susan K. Golant is the author of 13 books including Helping Yourself Help Others, with Rosalylnn Carter. Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and the director of the Assaultive Husbands Program in Vancouver. Susan K. Golant is the author of 13 books including Helping Yourself Help Others, with Rosalylnn Carter.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Drowning in a Red Tide 3
2 Are All Batterers Alike? 22
3 The Cycle of Violence and the Abusive Personality 39
4 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Telling Clue 61
5 Shame: The Father's Contribution 78
6 Ambivalent and Angry Attachment: The Mother's Contribution 94
7 Learning the Ways of Violence 117
8 The Assaultive Man as an Adolescent 131
9 The Borderline Male: The Cycle of Fear and Rage 140
10 Helping the Abusive Man 159
11 Some Practical Tips 181
Notes 187
References 193
Index 201
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2003

    The Surreal Mind of the Abuser

    A much-needed exposition of the habitual batterer's mind, based on hundreds of real-life cases. This book expels the myth that there is a 'typical' abuser. There isn't. Abuse cuts across all professions, social-economic strata, levels of income and education, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and location. To embark on our exploration of the abusive mind, we first need to agree on a taxonomy of abusive behaviours. Methodically observing abuse is the surest way of getting to know the perpetrators. Abusers appear to be suffering from dissociation (multiple personality). At home, they are intimidating and suffocating monsters - outdoors, they are wonderful, caring, giving, and much-admired pillars of the community. Why this duplicity? It is only partly premeditated and intended to disguise the abuser's acts. More importantly, it reflects the his inner world, where the victims are nothing but two-dimensional representations, objects, devoid of emotions and needs, or mere extensions of his self. Thus, to the abuser's mind, his quarries do not merit humane treatment, nor do they evoke empathy. Sam Vaknin, author of 'Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited'.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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