Insight, Neurosis, and Character Disturbance

Parental Alienation

And eventually I came to believe (as have several colleagues and researchers working in this area) that most of the time, when a disturbed character says “I don’t know” they really mean:

  • “I’ve never really think about it that much.”
  • “I don’t want to think about it.”
  • “I don’t want to talk about it now.”
  • “I know very well why I did it, but I certainly don’t want you to know because that would put you in a position of equal advantage with me — having my number, so to speak — and I won’t be able to manipulate you as easily or manage your impression of my character.”
  • “I don’t want to disclose because I want you to buy into the notion that I’m basically a person of good character who made an unwitting mistake, oblivious about the harm I caused others — i.e., my intentions were benign and…

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