I was at a training session yesterday and on a side topic someone asked our brilliant teacher about domestic violence, and what could be done about it. Here are her thoughts:
“Most male batterers would be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder – BPD.”
*In reality, most of the time it is women who receive this diagnosis. If you’re not sure what BPD is, click here, but for now, think about Glen Close’s character in the movie Fatal Attraction (the highly volatile, gamey, manipulative, woman with incredibly destructive behavior).
Our trainer said that the battering is what regulates the man – it is what calms him down. In other words, he doesn’t know how to calm himself down, and he can’t count on his partner to help calm him down.
In addition, his brain has been re-wired to run on adrenaline, and his own “set-point” is probably out of whack from his own trauma background.
If you want to read more about the physiological things that happen to a person raised in a traumatic background, I recommend this book:
The most successful treatment for BPD is a form of therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which involves mindfulness, skills, and cognitive behavior therapy.
Our trainer said, “If you can’t calm yourself down, you have no sense of identity.”
She felt that if we could teach children (at the pre-school level), how to calm themselves down, we could change the amount of domestic violence in this country.