Coercive Methods For Enforcing Compliance
Individuals who have experienced abuse often focus on their own actions (or inactions) and blame themselves for their own abuse. This client information handout encourages a focus on the actions of the abuser and details the methods by which abusers exert control over their victims.
DescriptionAbusers use a variety of techniques in order to coerce others into behaving the way they want. In 1956 the psychologist Albert Biderman developed a framework for understanding the methods foreign armies used to extract false confessions from prisoners of war. Psychologists now believe that abusers in many different situations use the same methods to achieve control over their victims. For example, victims of domestic violence or childhood abuse often report having experienced similar treatment. These methods include:
- Monopolization of perception
- Induced exhaustion / debilitation
- Occasional indulgences
- Demonstrating 'omnipotence' and 'omniscience'
- Enforcing trivial demands
InstructionsThis is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:
- Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
- Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
- Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
- Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training
- Biderman, A. D. (1957). Communist attempts to elicit false confessions from Air Force prisoners of war. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 33(9), 616-625 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov archive.org