Next to ‘closed-channel thinking,’ victimstance is the most pervasive thinking error in irresponsible and criminal thinkers. Criminal thinkers continually blame others for situations they have caused themselves.
Victimstance thinking moves to the extreme in persons actively engaged in victimizing behavior. If a criminal thinker gets arrested they will claim they are victims of overzealous police actions. They will lie and deny doing anything wrong even when confronted with the obvious facts of their offenses. They will often blame the violence they have perpetrated on an addiction or drug and alcohol use. When a criminal thinker enters treatment or therapy they will use their new found diagnosis to rationalize and excuse their behavior instead of using that knowledge to take the necessary steps to make meaningful change.
The common victim rationales used by the offender fall into four destructive categories including, psychological, sociological, ex-con and genetic. Examples of thinking distortions in each of these areas are as follows:
The changing criminal must begin to accept the role they play in every negative consequence that they encounter. They need to identify the thinking errors that prevent them from taking personal responsibility. By asking what they could have done differently to change the outcome of the situation they will begin to learn corrections to their distorted thoughts. They must learn and document how they have been a victimizer more than a victim. Even when they are truly victimized, their criminal lifestyle is usually what has caused them to become victims themselves. Police understand this concept well when they arrive on a crime scene and discover that the victims could easily be yesterday’s victimizers.
The module is based on a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy and utilizes the theory and principles developed by Stanton Samenow and Samuel Yochelson.
Related Assignment: Victimstance Worksheet
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