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Boyle, J. (2013). A Syncretic Approach to the Role of Pathological Organizations in Violence. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(3):329-345.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(3):329-345

A Syncretic Approach to the Role of Pathological Organizations in Violence

John Boyle

This paper considers the role of pathological organizations in violence from a syncretic perspective. It begins with a discussion of the idea of syncretism in psychotherapy that is followed by an overview of the development of the pathological organization concept. Donald Kalsched's work on the self-care system is subsequently introduced to provide a complementary Jungian perspective on the role of trauma in the formation of pathological organizations. The remainder of the paper considers the role of pathological organizations in violence with particular reference to the work of Arthur Hyatt-Williams on ‘the murder constellation’ and J. Reid Meloy's concept of the ‘psychopathic personality organization’. Two brief clinical vignettes are included to illustrate selected aspects of the theoretical material. By way of conclusion the paper evaluates some recent developments in conceptualization with particular reference to a ‘trauma amplification’ model of pathological organizations that could be of assistance in formulating the treatment needs of violent offenders.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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