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KATHY SEIFERT

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About Dr. Kathy Seifert


Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, author, speaker, and researcher who specializes in family violence and trauma. With over 30 years of experience in mental health, addictions, and criminal justice work, she is the worlds leading authority at determining who is most likely to commit a future act of violence. Her message throughout her career has been one of violence prevention.

Dr. Seifert is Founder and CEO of Eastern Shore Psychological Services (www.ESPSMD.com), a private practice that focuses on serving children, adolescents, and at-risk youth and their families. Her recent book, How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations, and Cults (Acanthus 2007), a resource for therapists and parents, won an Independent Publisher Book Award. Dr. Seifert authored the Chronic Violent Behavior Risk and Needs Assessment, Second Edition, a manual and assessment that allows mental health and juvenile justice professionals to understand the risk of potential violence in youths. It is the only proven scientic tool of its kind that can identify dangerous youth as young as 6 years old and the services they need to prevent them from committing future violence. In addition, Dr. Seifert is the author of the Risk Management Evaluation (RME) for womenthe only assessment in the world that identies violence and sexual offending risk factors among women.

Dr. Seiferts articles on violence, trauma, and risk have appeared in numerous medical and behavioral journals, as well as popular magazines.

Dr. Seifert is a fellow in the Maryland Psychological Association and President Elect of MPA. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, the American Psychological Association, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the Maryland Mental Health Association, and The American College of Forensic Examiners International.

KATHY SEIFERT
Ph.D. Community-Social Psychology University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus Diplomate (DABPS) in forensic psychology, American Board of Psychological Specialties Fellow, Maryland Psychological Association President Elect of MPA

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Credentials

Member of the RISC-TEAM (Risk Institute of Communication: Training, Education, Assessment & Management of Risk), an international group that studies issues dealing with risk and violence Member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the Maryland Mental Health Association, and the American College of Forensic Examiners International

Sample Publications
How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids Out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations, and Cults. Acanthus Publishing. Boston: 2007. VA Tech = the Unabomber? The National Psychologist, July/August 2007. Mom and Apple Pie or Black Widow: An Examination of Female Violence. Hot Psychology Magazine, September 2006. Study Demonstrates Reduced Youth Violence and Improved School Success and Mental Health Through School Based Mental Health Services. Mens Health, 2005. Youth Mental and Behavioral Health and Placement Assessment Tools Examined in Groundbreaking New Study. PR News Now, 2005. Attachment, family violence, and disorders of childhood and adolescence. Paradigm Magazine, Summer 2003. Childhood Trauma: Its Relationship to Behavioral and Psychiatric Disorders. The Forensic Examiner, 2003. The CARE: Child and Adolescent Risk Evaluation. Champaigne, IL: Research Press, 2003. The association of family violence with behavior and psychiatric problems in children and teens, The Maryland Psychologist, 2003. Childhood and Adolescence Disorders: Relationships among social, psychiatric and behavioral problems. Paradigm Magazine, 2003. Assessing violent youth. Paradigm Magazine, 2001. Child and adolescent risk for violence (CARV): A tool to assess juvenile risk. Journal of Psychiatry and Law, Fall 2001. Juvenile violence: An overview of risk factors and programs. Reaching Todays Youth, 2000. Assessing and treating violent youth and their families. Horizon Newsletter, 2000. Contributor to 49 Marketing Secrets (That Work) to Grow Sales. Morgan James Publishing. Garden City, NY: 2007.

KATHY SEIFERT
This is just a sample of the topics Dr. Seifert can deliver live for your audiences. Titles, topics, and length of presentations can be easily customized for your needs. 1 Child Development and Psychology 2 Violence Prevention/Risk Assessment 3 Terrorism 4 Women and Violence 5 Care

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Sample Speaking Topics


Assessing and Treating Attachment Disorders Dr. Seifert is one of the nations leading researchers and clinical practitioners in the eld of assessing and treating Disrupted Attachment Patterns (DAP) in children. She can customize a presentation that explores the causes of Disrupted Attachment Patterns (DAP), how they interfere with moral and social development, why they often lead to criminal behavior, and how they can be assessed and treated using many of the case management tools Dr. Seifert has created. Healing the Wounds of Childhood Trauma The facts concerning child abuse are alarming: 79 percent of violent children have witnessed violence between their parents Child abuse rose 125 percent from 1986 to 1993 By the time of adulthood, one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused Dr. Seifert can deliver solutions to stopping this cycle of abuse from continuing.

Child Development and Psychology


Given the fact that so many children we work with and teach everyday have been abused, how is this aecting our ability to make a dierence, foster learning, and do our jobs? What can we do to help these children feel normal and less frightened in the world? In this presentation, Dr. Seifert will show you techniques you can use to help children look at their trauma from new eyes, reducing the emotional impact of the trauma in present day. Youll learn how to identify the outward signs of trauma and how you can use the experience of trauma to help children develop skills and feel stronger. This presentation oers vital skill development for any educator, social worker, or mental health professional working with children. What Causes Children to Become Violent? There are over 3 million cases of child maltreatment each year in the US. This means there are 3 million children who, because they didnt receive the love and nurturing thats vital at early stages of development, already have many of the risk factors that lead to committing acts of violence later in life. This includes rape, murder, sex abuse, and suicide. What can you do as an educator, social worker, counselor, healthcare professional, or parent? Discover how problems in the home and family environmentfrom drug addiction to sexual abusecan alter the normal development of a child Learn the warning signs that a child you teach or service may be at risk of committing an act of violence Discover the resiliency factors you can provide to counteract the trauma and anger in their lives Learn what professional and clinical treatment options are necessary to steer violent children away from harming themselves and others

Violence Prevention/Risk Assessment


The facts are alarming. Over 75 percent of the violent acts we read about everydayfrom assault to murdercould have been prevented if someone close to the potential violent oender (a friend, co-worker, social worker, criminal justice, or mental health professional) identied the warning signs of a violent personality and intervened eectively before it was too late. After 30 years of studying the causes of sexual abuse, drug addiction, murder, gangs, domestic abuse, and rape, forensic psychologist Dr. Seifert has identied the psychological risk factors associated with violence. In this presentation, she shares these risk factors with you, shows you how to identify which adults and children may be at risk of committing a crime, and how to intervene and respond eectively before its too late. No Fear Zone: Preventing Violence at School From preventing sex abuse and school shootings to helping children avoid the wrath of bullies, Dr. Seifert discusses some of the nationally-tested programs proven to decrease acts of violence in a school setting. Learn:

KATHY SEIFERT
The home and family environment factors that cause children to become violent at school How to tell when a child is being abused by a bully or parent How to bully proof your school How to make your classroom or school a safer and more nurturing environment for at-risk children When and how to intervene when a child seems dangerous What professional and clinical treatment options are necessary to steer violent children away from harming others and harming themselves Assessing the Risk for Youth Violence Dr. Seifert is the author of the Chronic Violent Behavior Risk Needs Assessment, Second Editionone of the worlds most accurate screening tools for identifying which children and teenagers are most likely to commit an act of violence and how to intervene to prevent future violence. She brings her 30 years of research and clinical work to this discussion of how and why children become violent, how you can identify the risk factors involved, and how you can develop a custom case management and intervention plan that will determine what treatment is appropriate for every level of risk. Predicting Crime: Assessing the Risk for Adult Violence and Sexual Abuse A woman is shot to death by her husband A 19-year old girl is found murdered in an New York City alley A child is sexually abused by a trusted family priest What do these stories have in common? They all could have been prevented. Dr. Seifert shows her audiences that by targeting and assessing the various risk factors, we can prevent these crimes from being committed in the rst place. She believes in investing in mental health services, intervention programs, and counseling before the crime is committed, as opposed to societys standard of expanding prisons and paying more and more for punishment after the crime is already committed.

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Terrorism
Dr. Seifert discusses why many terrorists may be suering from Disrupted Attatchment Patterns (DAP) and how this aects their moral and social development. Using psychological research in this area, she oers a prole of a terrorist based on some of her many violence assessment tools and suggests how early intervention in impoverished areas of the world can help terrorism from spreading. The Makings of a Terrorist: Psychological Factors Contributing to the Spread of Terrorism Around the World Dr. Seifert oers a unique perspective on what causes terrorism. She looks at the brutal atmosphere and environment in which many terrorists are raised and sees signs that are common to any violent criminal: Children without parents Vulnerable street children Lack of parental nurturing Consistent exposure to community violence and war at an early age In this age when billions of our tax dollars are spent to support a war waged against terrorism, it is more relevant than ever that we target the roots of terrorism and stop children from joining terrorist organizations in the rst place. The rst step is knowing what conditions to look for and how to treat the children. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Women and Violence


Femmes Fatales: What is Causing the Increase of Crimes Committed By Women? Aggression among women may have been more hidden because it was directed toward children in the household in past decades. However, recent studies show that while the rates of violence and sexual abuse are leveling o among men, they are increasing among women. Could it be that years, even decades, of pent-up rage over having been severely abused is nally breaking out? Dr. Seifert explores how centuries of abuse of girls and women and cultural changes involving a
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more permissive society are creating an environment where women can be more aggressive towards others. Youll learn what causes violent tendencies in most women and what risk-factors help fuel them. Youll also learn how many of these violent women are being neglected by the system and what we can do as professionals and as a society to make sure they get the help they need. Why Mothers Kill Taking care of a child is an instinctual behaviorsomething horrible has to happen to a mother to override this instinct and cause her to kill her children the way we often hear about in the news. Most people believe that post-partum depression is to blame, but an overlooked factor is the trauma, neglect, and abuse suered by these mothers as they were growing up. Dr. Seifert will discuss the Risk Management Evaluation (RME) for womenthe only assessment in the world that identies violence and sexual oending among women. This assessment, along with Dr. Seiferts other research, helps identify childhood and home factors that may shed new light on licide. In this presentation she discusses what these factors are and how we can help mothers who have them.

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Care
Caring for Those Who Care Release stress at work and keep other peoples trauma from becoming your own! Social workers, healthcare professionals, and emergency professionals experience a tremendous amount of constant stress and trauma on the job, leading to burnout, drug abuse, and physical breakdown. Help take the weight of the world o their shoulders. An expert on treating trauma through stress management techniques, Dr. Seifert is available to oer stress management workshops for your agency or organization.

KATHY SEIFERT
Expert Witness
Dr. Seifert is a forensic psychologist with over 30 years of research and clinical experience in the areas of violence and sexual oending. She is listed as an expert witness for the military and is available to evaluate oenders, assess their risk to the community, recommend treatment options, and testify on her ndings and research in court.

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Services
Outpatient Clinical Treatment
Through her company Eastern Shore Psychological Services (ESPS), Dr. Seifert provides a full-range of services for the needs of at-risk children and their families. Outpatient Mental Health Medication management and individual, family, and group services for children, youth, and adults in Salisbury, Princess Anne, and Easton, MD. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (PRP) An adjunct to outpatient treatment, PRP provides additional support, skill development and practical assistance to facilitate individual goal attainment. Services are onsite or home/ community based. PRP is oered in Salisbury, Princess Anne, and Easton locations. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Daily treatment for individuals experiencing serious and acute symptoms which threaten to disrupt their ability to continue in their current residential, vocational, or educational setting. This involves three hours per day of group, individual, and family therapy for three to ve days per week. This is a short-term service which strives to return the individual to a lower level of care as quickly as possible. IOP is available in Salisbury and Easton locations. Hope Creek Youth and Family Center Transitional School: This is an educational program meant to work alongside IOP for children to maintain their academic progress while they obtain the treatment they need. Three hours of educational services are provided for 10 children ve days per week. Available only in the Salisbury location. Psychological Testing and Evaluation Intensive assessment which includes testing, bio-psychosocial evaluation and a comprehensive report which includes strengths, challenges, and recommendations. These services are provided to the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, Departments of Social Services, court ordered assessments and private individuals. Available at Salisbury and Easton Locations. Healthy Families Lower Shore: A home visiting program for families of very young children. Its purpose is to enhance parent child interactions and prevent child abuse and neglect. Available in Somerset County and Pocomoke.

Consulting
Stress Management/Team Conflict Help reduce social workers stress levels and put life back into perspective. An expert on treating trauma through stress management techniques, Dr. Seifert is available to oer stress management workshops for your agency or organization. Violence Prevention/Risk Assessment Screen out problem employees before you have a lawsuit on your hands. Dr. Seifert can consult with you to develop screening tools for assessing the risk of violence and sexual oending in the workplace. This is especially critical for organizations working closely with youth, women, and the survivors of past trauma. Dr. Seifert can devise a program to help you deal with severely problematic employees suering from depression, addiction, and post-traumatic stress. Supporting Grants through Research No one is giving away money these days without seeing some results. Everybody is looking for evidence-based practice. A published forensic psychologist and researcher, Dr. Seifert has expertise proving whether your grant-funded programs are making a dierence. This will help you secure additional funding, continue programs, and initiate new programs based on solid research.

KATHY SEIFERT

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Violence Risk Assesments


is the only risk assessment tool to provide this added feature. CARE Screens for the following risk factors: History of violence (e.g. setting res and hurting people) Chronic bed wetting Poor anger management Impulsivity/ADHD History of bullying Psychological problems Learning problems School failure Friends who get into trouble Below average IQ Family violence Harming animals History of sex abuse The CARE identies the following protective factors that counteract abuse: IQ is average or above Success at school Positive peer group Good social skills Good problem-solving skills Support at home and school Parents who set rm boundaries * Children with more than ve risk factors and less than six protective factors have an 80% chance of committing future crimes.

After 30 years of studying the causes of sexual abuse, drug addiction, murder, gangs, domestic abuse, and rape, forensic psychologist Dr. Kathy Seifert has identied the psychological and family risk factors associated with violence. She has used this research to create the following violence screening and treatment tools, which can be used by educators and mental health and criminal justice professionals to create custom case management and intervention plans.

CARE 2 (Chronic Violent Behavior Risk and Needs RME (Risk Management Evaluation) Assessments for adults
CARE 2 ( Chronic Violent Behavior Risk and Needs Assessment, Second Edition) Whether youre an educator, social worker, mental health professional, juvenile ocer, or a concerned parent, you have the power to provide at-risk children and teenagers with the nurturing and support that will give them a second chance at life. You start by identifying the warning signs of violence using one of the most accurate violence assessments in the country. You continue by creating an intervention plan to provide the care and support that counteract risk factors and trauma. You guarantee success by executing the intervention plan and by following up. Only one assessment gives you all three of these components. How CARE 2 Works CARE 2 is a 57-item assessment form that measures risk factors associated with youth violence as well as protective factors. Areas covered include youth characteristics, peer relationships, school and education issues, and family dynamics. Using a combination of intake interview and le review, clinicians can complete the assessment and score the form in 15 to 30 minutes. The scored assessment form helps clinicians gauge the intensity of potential behavior problems and identify the appropriate level and types of interventions needed. CARE 2 Assessment, Second Edition)

Order the CARE 2 from Dr. Seiferts website at www.DrKathySeifert.com.


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RME (Risk Management Evaluation) Assessments for Adults Prevent a violent crime before it happens. If you could prevent another rape, murder, school shooting, or an act of child sex abuse, the question wouldnt be would you do it, but how. Dr. Seifert oers several RME (Risk Management Evaluation) screening tools that assess which adults are most likely to commit a future act of violence and what clinical and professional steps can be taken to counteract this violent tendency. Every one of these assessments is unique by oering you case management and intervention plans. Unlike other screening tools for assessing violence risk, Dr. Seiferts RME screening tools are the only ones to acknowledge the research proving that the factors that lead to violence are dierent for men and women. Therefore, to increase accuracy, she oers male and female versions for each category.

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Coming Soon

KATHY SEIFERT
VA Tech Killer = The Unabomber?
Similar childhood experiences influenced both men in the path to terrorism
(Published in the July/August 2007 National Psychologist)

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Articles
tasies of harming their torturers. Most, if not all, school shooters such as Cho experienced being bullied and felt ostracized from their peers. My own research, as well as the input of my colleagues, has led me to the conclusion that there are two developmental stages in which exposure to abuse, neglect, bullying, and/or violence have severely detrimental eects on young people. The rst pivotal developmental stage is the time of bonding with caregivers in infancy. If and when this very early attachment process is interrupted, the children may become violent, withdrawn, or self-harming young adults. The pivotal second stage is adolescence. It is my personal belief that this is the stage in which both Cho and Kaczynski experienced their initial dearth in development. The crucial aspect of this stage is social interaction with peers. Adolescence is the time to bond with fellow adolescents, and if this bonding is interrupted it is potentially as psychologically disruptive as caregiver interruptions in infancy. If we accept that attachment processes, either with caregivers or peers, is imperative to relationship skill development and thus greater social interaction, then it follows that bullying is not only damaging to the victim but to society as a whole. By stunting the emotional and psychological growth of another person, a bully may inadvertently be damaging society as a whole. So, what can be done to combat bullying? It is common in most schools, and is often viewed as an unfortunate but unavoidable part of growing up. Schools must work to counter this perception by cracking down on bullying and clearly expressing to all students the potential harm bullying can cause. Several anti-bullying programs are available, such as Dontlaugh.org and the Olweus Bullying Program. Schools struggling to combat bullying should keep these programs as an option for creating positive change.
Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, author, and speaker who specializes in family violence and trauma. Her recent book, How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations, and Cults (Acanthus Publishing 2007), just won a bronze medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. For more, please visit www. DrKathySeifert.com.

By Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D.

Like most Americans, I was gripped by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech by Seung-Hui Cho that killed 27 students and ve faculty. As I watched the story unfold in the news and aspects of Chos personality were revealed, I noticed striking psychological similarities between Cho and Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, to whom I devote a section of my latest book, How Children Become Violent. Cho and Kaczynski displayed similar personal backgrounds. In both cases, there was suspected abuse or neglect in their childhoods. Both men were intelligent and attended well-respected universities. Both were teased and bullied in school and harbored fantasies of retaliation towards these bullies. Both treated women poorly on several occasions. Both were withdrawn and socially isolated. And, most importantly, both were diagnosed with mental health problems that went untreated. It is my strong conviction that if we study the warning signs that Kaczynski and Cho presented, we may be more aware of the same warning signs in other young men and women. With this knowledge, it will be possible to intervene and seek help for these young people, and hopefully prevent some of the violence that troubled children are prone to committing. Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech, my colleagues have discussed with me their work with withdrawn children who have been bullied at school and have had fan-

An Examination of Female Violence


(Published in the September, 2006 Hot Psychology Magazine)

Mom and Apple Pie or Black Widow:

By Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D.

It has been suggested that female aggression is less severe, less common, and more often verbal than physical when compared to male aggression. However, there have been studies that have found that female interpersonal violence within the home is as severe and as frequent as male violence (Feibert, 1997). Female violence appears to be on the rise while male violence seems to be decreasing. Some women and girls are injuring or killing their children or partners or joining violent gangs. Causation of female violence in the teen years may be similar to male aggression. Various studies have demonstrated the relationship between exposure to childhood violence and violence perpetration by teens. This is especially true for females.
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Adolescent females were more likely than males to experience violence at home, report trauma related symptoms, and have suicidal impulses. All dangerously violent teens had experienced signicantly more trauma than their matched peers (Wester, 2001). Leschied, Cummings, Van Brunschot, Cunningham, and Saunders (2000) found that parental aggression, antisocial peers, behavioural and academic problems in school, depression and victimization were associated with teenaged female aggression. In one study, 70 percent of adolescent female delinquents had been sexually abused (Calhoun, Jurgens and Chen, 1993). Females may also act aggressively toward themselves in the form of self mutilation, drug abuse, starvation, and suicide attempts. An example of instrumental (to achieve a purpose) teenaged female aggression is the story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, two teenaged girls who lived in New Zealand. Both girls had severe illnesses from early childhood with separation from their parents due to hospitalizations. Juliet was at times depressed. Both girls were very intelligent and creative. However, they brutally murdered Paulines mother (45 blows from a half brick in a stocking) because they saw her as standing in the way of their relationship. They engaged in unreasonable amounts of fantasy and they created an exceptionally close bond by the elimination of contact with all other peers. Juliets parents relationship was on the verge of separation which meant that the girls would be separated. This immediately preceded the murder of Paulines mother. Adult female violence and aggression is increasing. Steensmeier and Haynie (2000) found that economic disadvantage and social disorganization was associated with adult female homicide. Campbell (1993) suggests that women express violence in response to stress and frustration. Katherine Ramsland has proposed several reasons for aggression by women (Court TV Crime Library, 2005). Some work in partnership with boyfriends or husbands who beat them if they do not cooperate, some are impulsively violent, and some are methodically cruel. Elizabeth Epstein (2005) found that among the relationships of 109 alcoholic women, 61 percent reported some violence. In 23 percent of the couples, the woman was more violent and in 11 percent of the couples, the man was more violent. Feibert (1997) in an annotated bibliography points out that many studies have found that women are equally or more violent in their interpersonal relationships than men. Dobash et al., (1992) point out that female and male rates of spousal murder in the US are very similar, while the perpetrators of spousal abuse are predominantly male. It is almost impossible for most of us to understand why a mother would kill her own child. However, it has been happening since time began. Four motives of licide have been identied: mental illness of the mother often with religious delusions; child abuse resulting in death; retaliation against someone else, often a spouse; and neonaticide, when the infant is killed within the rst 24 hours of life by a young mother who is isolated, has not revealed her pregnancy, and has no support. A study at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine found that 16 out of 20 women in South Carolina who had killed their children had a diagnosable mental illness or mental retardation, but only four of them were receiving services (Shea and McKee). Most were also experiencing considerable stress. Females abuse their children at twice the rate of males and are responsible for 55 percent of ospring deaths (Deneld, 1997). Females are responsible for 78 percent of abuse and neglect related homicides of children (Deltito, Joseph, NY Medical College). The rates of infanticide have remained fairly stable for two decades. From 1976 to 2002, 30 per-

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cent of children under the age of 5 who have been murdered were killed by their mothers (BJS). In 1991, Bradley and Peters cited hyperreaction to misconduct of children as a factor in maternal child abuse, while in 1995 Meier found that abusive mothers felt a sense of incompetence, loss of control over their lives, anguish and depression, isolation, anxiety, thought disorders, and an inability to cope with everyday tasks. Post partum depression and psychosis has also been cited as a factor in the maternal murder of ones children. Many mothers who abuse or kill their children may have been victims of childhood abuse or neglect or exposed to domestic violence. In a study by this writer, (unpublished manuscript) 76 percent of aggressive adult females came from low warmth, high conict families, 74 percent were exposed to family violence, and 76 percent had parents with signicant mental health or substance abuse problems. There are few studies of women who kill their children. It is hypothesized that the death of a high percentage of children killed by mothers follows a pattern of prior abuse or neglect. In these cases, the families are generally under a great deal of stress, and several have been identied as having post partum depression or psychosis. A study of murdered children by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the mid 1990s found that when mothers kill their children, they often place them in a womb like wrapping and/or in water and that they are found less that 10 miles from home (Pergament, 2006). Susan Smith allowed her Mazda to roll into the John D. Long Lake outside of Union, South Carolina with Michael, age 3, and Alex, age 14 months, strapped securely in the back seat. She was in the middle of a divorce and believed that the children stood in the way of her relationship with a new boyfriend. She claimed
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that she was also having suicidal thoughts. She was depressed and under signicant stress, so she committed the unthinkable and killed her children. Smiths history included an alcoholic, violent, and jealous father who committed suicide when Susan was 8 years old. Smiths brother received treatment for a variety of issues and attempted suicide at age 13. Susan was described as unusual and sad. After her mother remarried, Smith did very well in school and helped the elderly. She craved her step fathers attention and he later molested her. The family blamed Susan for her own abuse. No charges were ever pressed against her stepfather even though the abuse was ongoing and reported to the authorities at least twice. Like Smith, Andrea Yates had been suffering from post partum depression and had attempted suicide before she killed her ve children on June 20, 2001. Her plea of not responsible due to mental defect is being retried in court. Yates was an isolated and distressed woman when she killed her homeschooled children. She and several in her family had long histories of mental illness. Because of her idealistic religious ideas about family, she kept her violent impulses to herself. She was attempting suicide when she was taken o Haldol, a strong tranquilizer and antipsychotic drug, despite her regular hallucinations and delusions. She was released from the hospital when she could shower independently and began to eat, and entered into a near catatonic state. When Yatess husband left her alone for a few hours, she drowned her children in the bath tub and chased after the eldest one who tried to get away. While Yates is being retried and held responsible for her actions, who is holding the mental health system responsible for taking her o her medication and providing substandard care? Females are most likely to kill a spouse, a friend/acquaintance, or a boyfriend or girlfriend and least likely to kill an employee/employer or a sibling. Twelve percent of US homicide oenders (BJS) and 12 percent of identied serial killers are female (Newton, 2000). The motive for 41 percent of female serial killers is money (14 percent of male and female combined). Substance abuse is more likely to be involved when an abused woman murders her abusive male partner. Some examples follow. Erzsebet Bathory was a prime example of a psychopathic serial murderess. She was born in 1560 in Hungary. She was related to Polands reigning king. Erzsebet was pregnant at age 14 and married at age 15. Both families (of Erzsebet and her husband) were renowned for cruel behavior (Ramsland, Court TVs Crime Library, 2005). She began torturing and killing people in her teens and it was estimated that she had 300-650 victims. Her family history included incest, violence, mental illness, epilepsy, alcoholism, murderers, sadists, and Satanists. She was introduced to devil worship by a Satanist uncle. She changed her clothes 6 times a day, admired herself in the mirror for hours, and tortured servant girls for sport. None of her torture victims ever left the castle alive (Newton, 2000). Aileen Wuornos, born in 1956 in Michigan, confessed to 6 murders, but claimed self-defense. Aileens father served time in mental hospitals as a mentally ill pedophile. Her mother left Aileen and her brother, Keith, with her parents in 1960 when Aileen was only 4 years old because they were crying, unhappy babies. At age 6 she suered facial burns while setting res with lighter uid. Aileen claimed to have had sex with her brother at a young age, a claim which is not veried, however, she was pregnant at age 14. Aileens mother, Diane Pratt, claimed that her father, Lauri Wuornos, killed his wife, Britta, and threatened to kill the two children, Aileen and Keith.

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Aileen became a prostitute and picked up several charges of drunk and disorderly and assault (Court TVs Crime Library, 2005). She was later charged with and convicted of murder of men with whom she had sex. The research literature clearly shows that at least one source of female violence is the exposure to neglect, abuse and domestic violence as a child. Early identication and intervention into violent homes is essential to stop the cycle of family violence. This is not to excuse the behavior, but to prevent it in the future. Most mothers who kill their children are psychotic, under stress, isolated, have long histories of mental illness, and have been abused or exposed to domestic violence as children. We can no longer ignore these precursors. As a society, we must intervene. A mental health system that does not recognize the risk for violence and returns women home and takes them o their medications is in part to blame. It is no longer sucient to judge risk of future violence by professional judgment alone (slightly better than chance). Available risk tools validated for women must be used routinely in our mental health systems. Only one is presently standardized on women, Risk Management Evaluation (RME) Female Version.
For more information please visit www.DrKathySeifert.com.

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Risk and Resiliency:
to social withdrawal or joining a deviant peer group. Psychological Characteristics: Temperament, Development, and Mental Illness In adolescence, this deviant peer group, which may include immersion in a nihilistic subculture or ideology gives the youth structure and identity, a sense of belonging, and a sense of being successful. Violence is often reinforced by the antisocial subculture. Infants with a exible, easygoing temperament seem to cope better with stress. They are easier for parents to manage. Children with an irritable temperament may be more dicult to manage and may cope less well with environmental or social stressors. Violence, abuse, trauma, neglect, and severe losses can interrupt and interfere with a childs normal developmental processes and the ability to learn and practice important skills, including managing emotions. Violent children often have limited ability to distinguish and communicate emotions verbally or appropriately and frequently experience little positive aect. Unable to self-soothe or self-calm, when they experience and express emotion, it is often as an explosive overreaction. Violent children are also often xated in a very early stage of moral development (Kohlberg, 1969). They believe that what is right is what meets the needs of the self and have not yet acknowledged that relationships, reciprocity, and membership in groups are important. Lack of empathy may be seen in behavior such as bullying smaller children and cruelty to animals, indicating a disregard for the welfare of other living beings (Levy & Orlans, 1999). In a study I performed in 2003, 80% of violent youth had symptoms of a mental

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illness, which can include hyperactivity, impulsivity, depression, anxiety, Bipolar symptoms, and psychosis. Children with both ADHD and verbal learning disabilities and/or social skill decits present a more serious risk for sustaining their anti-social behavior through adolescence and into adulthood (Fago, 1999). Violent people also do not seem to learn from their mistakes, a deciency that may have both biological and psychological components and be related to arousal and fear responses (Hare, 1995). Biological Substrate Early trauma and neglect can decrease dendrite proliferation and brain size (Perry and Pollard, 1997), which may explain the faulty perceiving and processing and decient problem solving seen in children with these histories. Autonomic arousal patterns can also be aected by early abuse and neglect (Pollack, 1998), with maltreated children reacting to anger more strongly than non-abused children due to chronic elevation of stress and alarm neurotransmitters. Low intelligence, which is sometimes associated with early brain injury can be another risk factor for violence, with the sedentary nature of our schools putting boys who are naturally active at a disadvantage (Murray, 1999). Community and Culture If there is easy availability of rearms or community standards favor the use of drugs and violence, the children of that neighborhood may be more likely to use violent means to accomplish their goals. Violent individuals are often substance abusers and frequently come from substance abusing families where such behavior is considered a rite of passage and/ or a necessity for socializing. If the community values insist that males be stoic and macho, the only emotion they will be encouraged to express is anger. The softer emotions are frequently taboo for males who are encouraged not
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A Biopsychosocial-Ecological Theory of Violence


by Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D.

The life of a chronically violent person can best be understood by examining the dynamic interaction of the individuals social context, psychological characteristics, biology, and environment. When the accumulation of negative factors along these dimensions without counterbalancing positive factors reaches a threshold, violent behavior is more likely to occur. Social Dimension: Family, Attachment, Bonding and Relationships When caregivers neglect or abuse their infants or expose them to domestic violence, problems with attachment can occur. This decient early interaction can become the template for all future relationships. Empathy for others does not develop, while rage or apathy may be prominent, and social skills are often poor. Signicantly greater rates of general oending (49%) and violent offending (18%) were found among a group of abused and severely neglected children than among those who had not had such histories (Widom, 1996). A sequence of early childhood social learning events leads to and sustains delinquency (Patterson, DeBaryshi, and Ramsey, 1989). The pre-delinquent uses aversive behavior to attain goals while the parents attempt to coerce the child into submission. Coercive strategies escalate on both sides, but the youth ultimately prevails, rewarding the youths negative behavior. During middle childhood, pro-social peer group rejection and school failure alienate and separate these youths from conventional activities, socialization processes, and attachment to the larger community outside their home, leading either

KATHY SEIFERT
to be sissies. Aggressive/violent behavior is rewarded with increased respect. Many experts agree that media violence negatively aects children. In addition, television commercials encourage the pursuit of tangible signs of prosperity. When extreme economic deprivation and other factors cause the path to success to be blocked or unavailable, teens may seek out other, often antisocial, means to attain consumer goods and power. Protective Factors & Resiliency As described by Hirschi (1969 and 1995), non-delinquents are attached to parents, peers, and their community; committed to conventional lines of action (i.e., deferred gratication, work ethic, the value of education); involved in conventional activities (school, sports, family activities, work); and believe in the moral order (traditional ideas of right and wrong). These positive factors form the basis of resiliency and are rooted in the basic attachment process that begins in infancy. Children, who are curious, enthusiastic, and alert, set goals for themselves, have high self-esteem and internal locus of control will be more resilient. A child who has good social and problem solving skills, moral maturity, and an ability to manage emotions (particularly anger) eectively, will have less likelihood of exhibiting violent behavior. In evaluating people for the probability of violent behavior, the absence of resiliency factors can be an important predictor of violent potential. People with many of the risk factors for violence can compensate for these vulnerabilities if sucient resiliency factors are present. Thus, the various factors that inuence children are seen as interactive. There appears to be a threshold of high numbers of negative factors and low levels of positive factors beyond which there is a greater risk for violent behavior. (References available upon request.)

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Preventing Future Violence
by Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D.

The life of a chronically violent person is a matrix of complex interactive systems. Behavior can best be understood by examining the dynamics of the individuals social context, psychological characteristics, biology, and environment. Chronic violence does not just happen one day; it develops, usually in childhood, and progresses through adulthood. Research has identied the factors that contribute to violence. Actuarial risk tools can identify those at risk to a greater degree than clinical judgment alone. Interventions have demonstrated their eectiveness in preventing future violent acts. Factors contributing to the development of violence in infancy, most mothers instinctively hold, rock, cuddle and coo at their infants and a natural bond is created. When caregivers neglect or abuse their infants or expose them to domestic violence, problems with attachment can occur. Empathy for others does not develop, while rage or apathy may be prominent. This early interaction becomes the template for all future relationships. During middle childhood, pro-social peer group rejection and school failure alienate and separate some youth from conventional activities, socialization processes, and attachment to the larger community. This, then, becomes a signicant precursor to either social withdrawal or joining a deviant peer group, where they can become successful in their own eyes and the eyes of peers Youth with a exible, easygoing temperament seem to cope better with stress and are easier for parents to manage. Children with an irritable temperament may be more dicult to manage and may cope less well with environmental or social stressors and thus may be more at risk for inappropriate reactions to stress.

Violence, abuse, trauma, neglect, severe losses can interfere with a childs normal development. They may not learn how to manage their emotions well. Violent children experience little emotion, but when they do it is often explosive. They often are unable to self-soothe or self-calm. There is also a predictable progression of moral development throughout ones lifetime. In the early stages of moral development, children believe that what is right is what meets the needs of the self. It appears that violent children are in this very early childhood stage of moral development. They have not yet acknowledged that relationships, reciprocity, and membership in groups are important. The human brain continues to develop in early childhood. Early trauma and neglect can interfere with brain development. Additionally, an intelligent child may be able to withstand the negative eects of a violent environment better than those with less intelligence. An intelligent child can be successful in school and thus receive necessary nurturing, self-esteem, and self-ecacy, even when it is not available at home. Children practice what they see and rehearse what they believe to be expected adult behavior. If there is an easy availability of rearms and community standards which favor the use of drugs and violence, the children of that neighborhood may be more likely to see the use of drugs and rearms as acceptable adult behaviors. By the time most children are grown, they have seen 100,000 acts of violence on TV, video games, and in the movies. Many experts agree that media violence negatively aects children. It may aect those with greater numbers of risk factors more strongly. We all want the American dream. When the one group views those 13

KATHY SEIFERT
of another group in a negative light, it can aect how youth see themselves and it is also possible for discrimination to block the path to pro-social success. When extreme economic deprivation and other factors cause the path of pro-social success to be blocked or unavailable, teens may seek out other means to succeed. Additionally, in our modern, western culture there is still the miseducation of male children. Schools continue to favor sedentary, rather than active learning. This places boys who are naturally active at a disadvantage. Non-aggressive youth have social bonds that contain four elements: 1 Attachment to parents, peers, and school. Risk Assessment Tools Clinical judgment of future risk of violence is no better than chance. Various actuarial risk assessment tools have been developed to increase the accuracy of determining youth and adults that are at risk for future violence. Youth tools include the CARE (Seifert, 2003), SAVRY (Borum, Bartel, Forth, 2002), and PCL-YV (Forth, Kosson, Hare, 1996). Adult Risk Assessment Tools include the PCL-R (Hare, 2003), HCR-20 (Hart and Webster), RME (Seifert, 2006), and VRAG (Quinsey, et al, 1998). It is important to use these tools to identify interventions to manage future risk of violence, such as the CARE and the RME. A study (Seifert, in press) demonstrated the eectiveness of the use of the CARE and a school based mental health program to reduce the number of incidents of ocially recorded violence in one school district. Children develop best in the shelter of a loving nurturing environment where their needs are met. This gives them the safety to explore their surroundings. Caregivers can explain, assist, and teach. When the various social, psychological, biological, and environmental factors have negative components, diculty managing emotions, lack of empathy, poor self-image,

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lower levels of problem solving skill, decient social skills can be the result. This model proposes that the various factors that inuence children are interactive and that there is a threshold of higher numbers of negative factors and low levels of positive factors beyond which there is a greater risk for violent behaviors. Violence risk assessment tools can assist in the identication of youth and adults who are at risk for violence so that interventions can be provided to reduce that risk.

4 Belief in the traditional ideas of right and wrong. These factors form the basis of resiliency.

3 Involvement in conventional activities (school, sports, family activities, work).

2 Commitment to conventional lines of action (i.e., deferred gratication, work ethic, the value of education).

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KATHY SEIFERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact T.K. Hall Public Relations, Ictus Initiative 617-717-8294 TK@IctusInitiative.com

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Press Release

How Children Become Violent Takes the Bronze Medal at Independent Publisher Book Award
Salisbury, Md. May 23, 2007 Prominent Psychologist and expert in predicting who will commit future acts of violence has just been awarded the bronze-medal award for her new book How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids out of Terrorist Organizations, Gangs, and Cults (Acanthus Publishing). This recently released book by Dr. Kathryn Seifert joined other highly celebrated authors, including David Eggers for What is the What and Thomas P. Doyle for Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes at the Independent Book Publishers 11th annual book awards.
The Independent Publisher Book Awards are a broad-based, unaliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. It is a great honor to be selected, says Dr. Seifert who has over 30 years experience in the elds of mental health and addiction. Now, more than ever, we as a nation need to take a stand and commit to helping troubled youths who are a danger to themselves and to their environment. Im hopeful that winning the bronze-medal for this great award will continue the dialogue that has begun around improving the nations mental health system after the horric shooting at Virginia Tech. How Children Become Violent opens with an intimate look into Dr. Seiferts beginnings as a mental health professional, and the research behind her theory of Disrupted Attachment Patterns (DAP), gained working in prisons and at her private mental health clinic, Eastern Shore Psychological Services. The rest of the book oers assessments, including her own assessment, the CARE, and treatments available to parents and the mental health community to help troubled children get back on track. Dr. Seiferts book couldnt have come at a more appropriate time, says David Nussbaum, Ph.D. of the Whitby Mental Health Centre. Dr. Seifert shows the exciting possibility of commonality between Attachment Disorders and the construct of Psychopathy, long recognized as a touchstone of potential violence in adolescents and adults. It addresses a theme that she has felt passionately about throughout her professional life, and she writes about it from her own perspective and on her own terms. Dr. Seifert will be featuring her award-winning book the rst weekend in June at the BookExpo America in New York City at the Jacob Javits center. She will join authors, literary agents, librarians and publishers from all over the globe in what is considered the largest selection of English language titles in the world.
For more information about Dr. Seifert and How Children Become Violent please visit her website at www.DrKathySeifert.com. To schedule an interview or to receive a review copy, please contact T.K. Hall at 617-717-8294, TK@IctusInitiative.com.

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KATHY SEIFERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carolyn McKibbin The Ictus Initiative 617-230-4886 Carolyn@ictusinitiative.com

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Local mental health clinic named as nalist in 3rd Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business
Stevie Award Winners to Be Announced in New York in March Salisbury, Md. Jan 10, 2007Eastern Shore Psychological Services (ESPS) was named a nalist today in the Best New Product of the Year category in the third annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, and the companies they run worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the business worlds own Oscars (New York Post, April 27, 2005). Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word crowned, winners will be announced during a gala event in New York in March. Nominated women executives and entrepreneurs from the U.S. and several other countries are expected to attend. Dr. Kathryn Seifert, Founder and CEO of ESPS, writes and lectures internationally on the topic of preventing violence. Her new book, How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations and Cults, outlines a novel perspective on youth violence and how to prevent it. This information can have a profound impact on society, and it is the reason for her nomination for this award. I am extremely honored to be a nalist for this prestigious award, said Dr. Seifert. It means to me that the world is ready for new ideas on preventing violence. This is the icing on the cake. Finalists were chosen by business professionals worldwide during preliminary judging. Members of the Awards Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors and their stas select Stevie Award winners from among the Finalists during nal judging. The elegant Stevie trophy was designed by R. S. Owens, the same company that makes the Oscar and the Emmy. More than 600 entries were submitted for consideration in more than 40 categories, including Best Executive, Best Entrepreneur, and Best Community Involvement Program. Being named a Finalist in The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is an important achievement, said Michael Gallagher, president of the Stevie Awards. It means that independent business executives have agreed that the nominee is worthy of recognition. We congratulate all of the Finalists on their achievement and wish them well in the competition.
Details about The Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at www.stevieawards.com/women.

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KATHY SEIFERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Carolyn McKibbin The Ictus Initiative (617) 230-4886 Carolyn@IctusInitiative.com

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Psychologist Discusses the Epidemic of School Shootings and Methods of Prevention Salisbury, Md., October 23, 2006Across America, murder and suicide shootings have brought in the 2006 school year with a deadly bang. Of the 25 oenses taking place on school grounds, seven were fataland three of these seven took place in one week alone. Now, the government is grappling for a system to respond to this violence, and people everywhere are questioning the safety of our schools.
Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D., a psychotherapist specializing in family violence and trauma, says early detection of violent tendencies in children and teens is the best way to prevent tragedies like school shootings from happening. Acts of violence by students who attend a school are roughly 80 percent preventable, says Dr. Seifert. If every child that committed any kind of serious behavioral misconduct was screened for the types and level of services needed and if these services were put into place, youth violence by students enrolled in a school could be reduced. For example, Dr. Seifert highlights one 16-year-old boy who was convicted of brutally killing his neighbor, and is now serving a life sentence in prison. The teenager was reportedly abused as a child and was homeless before being taken into custody for murder. Dr. Seifert, who has over 30 years of experience in mental health, addictions, and criminal justice work, wrote a book titled How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations, and Cults, which will be available in December by Acanthus Publishing. In it, she explains how childhood is a time when bonding with caregivers stimulates the formulation of behavioral regulation, interpersonal skills, moral development, brain development, and problem solving, and when it is interrupted, Disrupted Attachments Patterns (DAP) can form. Her book also highlights several assessments that therapists, authorities, and parents can use to assess individuals who may be at high risk for committing violent acts against themselves and others. Her own violence assessment, CARE: Child and Adolescent Risk Evaluation (Seifert, 2003), can identify dangerous youth as young as 4 years old and the services needed to prevent future behavior problems, including violence. The CARE screens for the following risk factors: History of violence setting res and hurting people

School Shootings: Can They Be Stopped?

Psychological problems
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History of bullying

Impulsivity/ADHD

Poor anger management

Chronic bed wetting

KATHY SEIFERT
Learning problems

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The adult version, the RME, can identify risk in adults and the services they need. Is homelessness a situation that overwhelms vulnerable persons with few coping skills? Is solving the problem of homelessness one step we can take to lower our risk of such future atrocities? Can we do better at identifying abused and neglected children who need the help of other adults? How do we identify aggressive youth and provide them needed services? asks Dr. Seifert. These are precicely the questions Dr. Seifert believes authority gures must ask when attempting to prevent violent crimes. We must continue to recognize, diagnose, and provide appropriate treatment to those displaying Disrupted Attachment Patterns warning signs, says Dr. Seifert. All of this prevention and treatment is worth every penny if it can spare another child from hurting others and growing into a dangerous adult.

History of sex abuse

Harming animals

Family violence

Low IQ

Bad group of friends

School failure

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KATHY SEIFERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Carolyn McKibbin The Ictus Initiative (617) 230-4886 Carolyn@IctusInitiative.com

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Top Psychologist Says Violence Is Changing the Field of Mental Health Salisbury, Md., September 11, 2006Last Mondays murder of a renowned psychiatrist in schizophrenia, Dr. Wayne S. Fenton, by his own 19-year-old patient sent shockwaves through the mental health community. Now, as the consequences of this tragedy set in, his colleagues are reevaluating the way they assess mental illness and the capacity that their patients have to commit violence against othersincluding those who treat them.
I see things dierently after Dr. Fentons death in that violence needs to be assessed as a separate construct of mental illness, says Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D., a psychotherapist specializing in family violence and trauma who has over 30 years of experience in mental health, addictions, and criminal justice work. She says there are several methods of risk assessment that are absolutely essential in this eld. One such method, which Dr. Seifert created, is the Risk Management Evaluation; others include the HCR20 and the VRAG assessments. Dr. Seifert believes the most lasting eect Dr. Fentons death will have on the mental health community are the steps she and others will take toward the prevention of further violence. The rst thing I did when I heard about this tragedy was hold a meeting at my oce that focused on safety precautions, says Dr. Seifert. Risk management evaluations must be given to assess whether or not a patient is at high risk or low risk for violence. I tell my sta to treat everyone with caution, but that the higher-risk patients demand even more caution. The late Dr. Fenton was widely praised for his eorts to make it possible for individuals with severe mental illness to function successfully in society. Dr. Seifert believes his goal is entirely reachable because her research tells her that mental illness and violence are not intrinsically linked. She asserts that mental illness alone is not an indicator of violence, which was proven thoroughly in McArthurs study on schizophrenia. Mental illness linked with substance abuse, however, does predict a pattern of violence. Herbert Cromwell, the executive director of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland, concurs with Dr. Seifert. Individuals with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators. This tragedy might further the stigma that currently surrounds individuals living with mental illness, and promote more abuse, says Cromwell. This is something Dr. Fenton would never have wanted. Treatment of schizophrenia varies and is often administered as a combination of several dierent treatments. The following is a list of several dierent treatments that Dr. Seifert believes, when used in combination, will not only help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia but will also serve as a prevention of these symptoms occurring altogether. She is available to comment on these and other related topics. Medication Treatment

Prominent Psychiatrist Murdered By Own Patient

Rehabilitation

Psychosocial Treatments

Antipsychotic Medication List

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Individual Psychotherapy

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Community and Social Support Dr. Seifert says the need for ongoing public education about the nature of mental illness is crucial in the quest to integrate individuals living with mental illness into society. With the proper community recourses, mentally ill people are absolutely able to function well in the community, says Dr. Seifert. Tools, knowledge, and recourses are key to their success.
To learn more about Dr. Seifert, please visit her website: www.DrKathySeifert.com. To schedule an interview, please contact Carolyn McKibbin at 617-230-4886.

Self Help Groups

Family Education

Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy

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