National Conference on Correctional Health Care Calls Dr. Dean Aufderheide’s Workshop on Psychopaths “Most Inspiring”

Inmate manipulation, especially from those diagnosed as a psychopath, is something everyone needs to be on guard for.

Dr. Dean Aufderheide has taught a workshop on this subject for the National Conference on Correctional Health, which called his workshop “most inspiring”.


Dr. Dean Aufderheide, Director of Mental Health Services, Florida Department of Corrections, held a standing room only session on a journey inside the mysterious mind of the psychopath. The workshop explored the origin and evolution of the concept of psychopath while peeling back the layers of criminal thinking to discover how and why psychopaths see the world the way they do.

Genetic and environmental influences on psychopath behaviors were investigated. Using a case study and videotaped interviews of psychopaths, participants were able to identify the unique signs, symptoms and distinct traits of the psychopathic personality.

The following tips for dealing with psychopathic offenders were provided:

  • Know What You Are Dealing With: Everyone, including the experts, can be taken in, manipulated, and conned. Your best defense is to understand the nature of these predators. Never share personal information about staff or yourself with an inmate. Remember, if crime was the job description, the psychopath would be the perfect applicant.
  • Know Yourself: Psychopaths are extremely skilled at detecting and ruthlessly exploiting your weak spots. If you are a sucker for flattery, feel unappreciated, feel lonely or alone, you are vulnerable. When asked how he selected his victims, Danny Rolling, the Gainesville serial murderer replied, “Predators look for vulnerabilities.”

Dr. Aufderheide advises the best defense is to understand what your weak spots are and to be extremely wary of any inmate who zeros in on them. Self-examination and frank discussions with a trusted colleague will be a helpful defense against the psychopath’s ability to distort our reality.




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