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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I am a 23 year old male. I do not have a sexual attraction

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I am a 23 year old male. I do not have a sexual attraction to kids, although I did engage in sexual activity (mainly petting) when I was very young (as early as five or six). I remember hardly anything from my childhood, but I remember that the first half of my childhood, I was very happy and social. Then, I suffered a weird change in like third or fourth grade and became very prone to isolate myself. It is ever since then that I have had this desire to hurt kids. I have hurt kids before. I seem to want to hurt them whenever I am alone with them. I mostly like to hurt boys. In the past, I have thrown kids on the ground, bit them, dug my nails into their skin, pressed their head against the ground, hit them, kicked them, scratched them. This is usually not in retaliation to anything they have done. I just really feel like I get satisfaction out of seeing them hurt or seeing them cry. Why do I want to hurt children?

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. You are a young man with wonderful goals and hopes for the future. Yet there is this problem area that is weighing down your goals and hopes. It is indeed very good that you are seeking to address this problem. Good for you. This is very important.

Your insight into the issues is very good and that's very helpful. Somewhere around 4th grade something happened. This age is a very pivotal age for boys developmentally and much is going on internally. But you sense that something may have occurred and your memories may have gotten repressed. Your description of that period would support this possibility.

We don't know if that is the root of the problem or if something else is the root. But it is indeed important for you to work in psychodynamic therapy to investigate what occurred in your childhood that may have caused this anxiety and its resultant need to hurt kids, especially boys. This will be very important to do before embarking on starting a family. So doing this now is a very important thing to do.

There are two approaches to doing this work and they are both complementary. Psychodynamic therapy is needed to work on this. But you might also consider hypnotherapy to help speed the process along for you.

I rarely recommend hypnotherapy. But here I'm going to because it might help you quickly identify causes for such severe symptoms. But recognize that I'm not talking about hypnotism; rather hypnotherapy with a psychologist or psychotherapist. Now here's the important statement about hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy can help with identification of subconscious problems and that's why I'm thinking of it. HOWEVER, there are good and honest hypnotherapists and there are other types. Your only way of assessing is two ways: first, make sure he or she is a licensed psychologist. Don't let anyone tell you they are a licensed hypnotherapist. There is no licensure in most states that I know of. It's all a "self-licensing" which is not good enough. So you want to know his or her license number as a psychologist or psychotherapist and call the state licensing board to make sure there have been no complaints filed. Please don't skip this step as I want you to make sure you are getting true hypnotherapy that will help you identify the events you may have repressed in your memory.

But whether along with hypnotherapy or if you decide against hypnotherapy, psychodynamic therapy will be very important in working on this problem. Let me give you two directories to look at that are good. You should focus on finding a psychologist or psychotherapist in your area who practices in a psychodynamic orientation. That's for gaining insight into yourself and your behavior.

Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (because they seem smart and not so easily manipulatable!) look at the listing and see if they list psychodynamic therapy in their orientations and/or hypnotherapy.

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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