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CHAPTER TWO: Depth psychology and school violence

Rose, Ingrid Karnac Books ePub

The material offered in this chapter will begin the journey into the underlying depths hidden beneath the overt behaviours described as school aggression and violence. In this section we will be looking at the connections between experiences of violence and expressions of psyche. Individual and cultural contexts will be explored. Although depth psychological concepts are introduced here, I want to reassure the reader that this book is not about depth psychology. It is about the underlying dynamics of school violence. I have found the best tools for exploring these dynamics in aspects offered by various depth psychological approaches. This chapter is an introduction to some of these methods, and in particular those that can assist us in delving more deeply into the more unknown aspects of school violence and related experiences. An understanding of the concepts and tools mentioned in this chapter will enable the reader to better follow the case studies and analysis that are presented later.

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CHAPTER THREE: New ideas on school alienation and violence

Rose, Ingrid Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I will be using composite case material taken from personal interactions with adolescent groups and individual clients to illustrate psychological factors existing on individual and collective levels. Theoretical views will be introduced from a Jung-ian perspective and linked to behavioural dynamics and interventions made. Concepts and experiential factors explored here bring increased understanding of the role of the school avenger, and what transpires to constellate that role in the school field. Material that is usually held secret is revealed from the perspective of the adolescent, and interventions mentioned are those that help to contain the disavowed experiences, creating a place where they can be shared and processed.

I have been working with groups of adolescents at a local high school facilitating dialogue, processing dreams, and using exercises to support the growth of self-awareness and individuation. Whereasvery reticent at first, group members have begun to speak a little more openly about their home lives, their relationships with their parents, siblings, and each other, their school situation, their views on life, and very hesitantly about their inner experiences. The group is slowly becoming a temenos; a “sacred precinct”; a sacrosanct place impenetrable to threat to those within its boundaries (Jung, 1911). As group members begin to feel safer and more contained, they are less reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings. Here is a description of one of our meetings.

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CHAPTER FOUR: Interventive methods

Rose, Ingrid Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter the worlds of alienation and violence will be populated with the figures, spirits, and archetypes that exist in realms that may not usually be held in human awareness. The parallel worlds or other dimensions in which these figures live out their myths and engage in their interactions, battles, loves, and deaths are usually mostly unconscious, but present themselves through dreams, myths, fairy tales, fables, synchronicities, disturbances, and symptomatic behaviours. The tools offered by process-oriented dreambody work, techniques of personification, active imagination, dream-telling and analysis, and the use of myth and fairy tales are extremely effective in penetrating the often-found barriers and resistances erected by most youth. In particular, the child or adolescent who is angry and isolated will be strongly defensive when approached through attempts at relationship. I have found the use of imaginal methods, which will be further described, to be helpful in cultivating connection and drawing the individual out from behind the mask he or she presents to the world. These techniques are also useful in group work.

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CHAPTER ONE: Setting the stage

Rose, Ingrid Karnac Books ePub

During 1996–97 approximately 4,000 incidents of rape or other types of sexual battery were reported in United States public schools. Weapons were used in about 11,000 incidents of physical attacks or fights and 7,000 robberies occurred in schools that year. Approximately 190,000 fights or physical attacks not involving weapons also occurred at schools in 1996–97, along with about 115,000 thefts and 98,000 incidents of vandalism (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997). In a survey conducted by the National Council for Education Statistics (NCES) in 2000 the following information was noted (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000). According to school principals, 71% of public elementary and secondary schools experienced at least one violent incident during the 1999–2000 school year (including rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attacks or fights with and without a weapon, threats of physical attack with and without a weapon, and robbery with and without a weapon). In all, approximately 1,466,000 such incidents were reported in public schools in 1999–2000. One or more serious violent incidents (including rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attacks orfights with a weapon, threats of physical attack with a weapon, and robbery with and without a weapon) occurred in 20 percent of public schools.

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CHAPTER FIVE: Preventive measures

Rose, Ingrid Karnac Books ePub

Another way of exploring alienation and violence in schools is through an approach that views symptomatic behaviour in light of the unconscious conflicts, deficits, and distortions of intrapsychic structures and internal object relations. The individual’s internal world is given paramount importance and is explored through dreams, associations, impulses, wishes, self-images, perceptions of, and psychological reactions to others, and projections heaped upon them.

Exploring psychodynamic phenomena in the arena of alienation and violence among youth can lead to a better understanding of what may be occurring within psychological structures of the potential school offender, allowing us to make better contact with her through empathic understanding. In recognizing these intrapsy-chic dynamics, early recognition can occur of children with tendencies for violent expression, facilitating remedial action at an early stage. A deeper understanding of what occurs on psychological levels within a child perpetrator of acts of violence can facilitate interaction with him by providing a means to access the authentic split-offparts of the child. In delving into particular patterns observed in experiences associated with anger, aggression, withdrawal, suicid-ality, self-destructiveness, and violent impulses toward others, not only can we be of help to the disturbed child, but recognizing these patterns can also help us to identify other children who have a tendency toward the same behaviour. In understanding the deeper layers of psychodynamic functioning within the individual, we become more able to understand and acknowledge associated experiences, thus becoming more able to be of help to the child in his loss, pain, or inner conflict.

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