Leaving the Room for the Sake of Connecting

Uri Amit

ALONE IN A PHYSICAL WORLD

Group therapy affords participants the opportunities to end a protracted process of believing that one is all alone in his or her physical world (Fehr, 1999, 2003). Connecting, among the believers, of being "the strangest" is a mean proposed by Ormont (1992).

SEX OFFENDER CLIENT POPULATION

This particular intervention is appropriate for groups of sex offenders who (1) do not display psychotic processes, (2) are preoccupied with atypical sexual fantasies, and (3) have been working together for at least one year with the same therapist(s) in an inpatient treatment facility.

DESCRIPTION OF INTERVENTION Case Example

Wy is a Caucasian, six feet, two inches, 240 lbs. man who was in a group of ten men that I and Dr. E inherited from two other therapists. For nearly two years, Wy has been mostly a silent group participant occupying the seat by the room's door. Despite his silence and expressed disinterest in a process that, according to him, was conducted by two of the state's "hired guns" (Dr. E

and myself), I never ceased asking him for his thoughts and feelings about the material presented by others. A common reply to my urgings was that he is repulsed by people and prefers the company of small animals. To add oomph to his common reply, he mentioned on numerous occasions that he tends to entertain fantasies of physically torturing people who affronted him and thoughts of sexually tormenting women. In fact, his offenses include extreme sexual sadism, and one of his fantasies included (and perhaps still includes) penetrating a woman with a mammoth dildo attached to a "f—k machine" turned on to its highest speed. The group respectively was leery and yet interested in Wy. The wish to "get into your [Wy's] head" was voiced by a few of the men on various occasions. He has also been viewed by them as a "weirdo."

On several occasions, Wy labeled me as a "weird doctor" and received support for the diagnosis from a few other members. On one such occasion and after having him in group for nearly two years, I asked the group if there are other "weirdoes" in addition to Wy and myself. Zi, a six foot, 200 lb. African-American man with a history of three rapes and a pervasive "I don't give a f—k" attitude announced that "I am like Wy. I don't trust people. I don't trust mental'health."

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