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The Use of General, Non-Humiliating Profanity during tests

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Author Topic: The Use of General, Non-Humiliating Profanity during tests
stat
Member
posted 08-20-2007 12:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for stat Edit/Delete Message
How do you all feel about profanity during tests?I tell my examinees early on that if they use profanity out there (pointing to society) than I expect to hear it in here..."because I want to talk with the real John Smith, not the one who says yes sir, no sir and behaves like Eddie Haskel in the pricipal's office---as I too have have been in a position to be less than bone real." I ask the Offender (pcsot) if it bothers/offends them if I occasionally use profanity---not in a mean and pointed way, but just in general. These cuss words typically include P'd, BS, HS, S, and the rare F'd and F'd up and F'ing Aye---and a very rare gd'm . I tell them that I would never "cuss them" and that "I prefer not to be cussed."

With gansters, this comes as great relief for them, and it opens doors for more candid dialogue---in my experience, having ran the "keepin it real" type of candor and also the rated G version.

I spoke to a well known examiner who when I told him of a test experience, he asked incredulously "you cuss in tests?" This question and judgement call should be discussed here.After he asked me that in such a way, I suddenly felt like I'd p'd in a confessional booth. The code of ethics does not directly address profane language, only referring to examiner conduct needing to be dignified and respectable. I would never use one-way belittling profanity with an individual who refrains from profanity, but I certainly believe that we should adapt a degree of cultural embrace and semantic assimilation.

p.s. How's the seminar going? If something really interesting happens, please call me (you know who you are.)

[This message has been edited by stat (edited 08-20-2007).]

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Taylor
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posted 08-20-2007 09:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Taylor Click Here to Email Taylor Edit/Delete Message
Stat, I attended the PCSOT policy review today. There were many questions and emotions shown regarding the 'policy'. FYI, Dan Sosnowski said to email him any concerns regarding the policy so he can take it to the Board. Most of your concerns were brought up but we ran out of time. There is another PCSOT session tomorrow.

As for profanity, I do try to keep it to a minimum but sometimes something pops out... You and I have had conversations about this issue and sometimes things that can be said by a male can't be said by a female in the types of testing we do. I do test a high LDS population so I have to really watch myself. However, last month a big BULL SH... popped out with the bone the dude threw out after the DI call. OOPS.

Taylor

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Ted Todd
Member
posted 08-20-2007 10:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Ted Todd Edit/Delete Message
Here I go again... I know this one is going to be ZAPPED by Ralph.

If an examinee calls it a Dick....it's a Dick. Not a penis, not a weenie, not a hot dog.

If an examinee calls it bullshit, then you should call it bullshit...plain and simple!

If you don't communicate on the same level(and in the same language) with your examinee, you will never get the truth.

See you all when Ralph lets me back on this board.

Ted

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rnelson
Member
posted 08-21-2007 12:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
stat:

Your missing a good time. Too bad you're not here.

Ted:

quote:
If an examinee calls it a Dick....it's a Dick. Not a penis, not a weenie, not a hot dog.

No. If he calls it a dick, its still a penis. He just calls it a dick.

But you are really talking about how to communicate at the level of the client. That seems fine, and perhaps necessary at times.

Keep in mind that there are different ways of thinking about this - esp with children. One way tells us to use the subject's native vocabulary. Another tells us that some people will do better once we've asked them what they call it. Then if they are awkward or anxious about saying those words in front of some stoic professional - in pressed shirt, looking over his glasses and down his nose, propped up with feet crossed comfortably, legal pad in one hand and pen in the other... saying "now tell me your most embarassing secret..." - (as if that stuff works to build rapport), they communicate more easily and authentically when we give them the proper words. Like talking to the hotel empleado about my missing keys... Si. Y perdido mi llaves. Others can't do that, and we stick to their vocab.

As to more expressive cursing during a test. I don't I'd get away with it. Besides, I'm obnoxious enough without adding more curse words. I cursed more as a therapist. That doesn't mean we don't drop some strategically timed BS-bombs during a posttest on rare occasions.

Simply by being peristent and methodical, I had two subjects abort during the pretest during the past month, and two more pretest confessions to sexual assault allegations.

There are jurisdictional variations too. You once mentioned running a "new" kind of test. If someone did that in Colorado, they'd probably be subject to demanding phone call, if not a professional complaint.

Like it or not, regulation is good for the profession. It does limit the degree of creativity that can be exercised at times, but it seems to prevent more long term problems than it solves. Some regulations say things like "treated with respect and dignity." Cursing at clients during a pre-test is asking for trouble.

Last time I even made a joke with a client I was called by a PO - the guy was taken of GPS after several months, and I said something about he ought to be careful with all that freedom because he had more opportunity to get into trouble - to me this is just setting up the idea that I'm going to ask a few more questions about your whereabouts and activities.

Mostly, the problem with cursing is like stylish glasses from the 80s, once the moment is passed, it doesn't impress people later on videotape.

The real goal is to make 'em sick to their stomach without having to curse. OK, that's not really the goal.

The real goal is to build a particular kind of rapport with the examinee. The rapport is based on credibility, expertise, authority, some expectation you are there to help, and the idea that you are capable of understanding the examinee and his worldview. How you build that is up to you. The endgame of extracting a confession can occur when the examinee is willing to look responsibly at himself and let you hold his ego for a little bit (sorry for the psychodynamic slant, but I can't think of a better way to state that right now) - when they examinee is ready to endorse the idea of telling you the truth to help himself, when the idea of admitting the truth to you can become an ego-syntonic or tollerable activity, often based on the belief that you understand his thoughts feelings, behavior, and motivation.

I'm not any kind of fan of canned Schtick, most adult sex offenders are adept manipulators who smell that stuff early. They see it. We see it. Picture the 20th or so polygraph on the same offender, and we say "you're obviously not a very good liar. we're going to have to trouble telling whether or not your telling the truth today..." You'd have to defib me back to life if I had to do that every day.

If cursing a little gets you real with a client (even that sounds like some parroted tripe from an EST workshop), if it gets beyond the typical character armor that stands between professionals and clients, then OK. For now.

You might get away with cursing, based on your personality, authenticity, judicious use /non-use, or the balancing effect of the extra-cursing rapport you have built. Other people might not get away with it. One of the best measuring sticks for the viability of a professional skill is - could you teach others to do it? I think we might just create more problems than we'd solve if we tried that.


r

------------------
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."
--(Stanley Kubrick/Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove, 1964)


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stat
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posted 08-21-2007 09:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stat Edit/Delete Message
r said "But you are really talking about how to communicate at the level of the client. That seems fine, and perhaps necessary at times.

My point exactly. Anything said after that seems to be negated by your former (above) statement.

r said "Mostly, the problem with cursing is like stylish glasses from the 80s, once the moment is passed, it doesn't impress people later on videotape."

Excellant analogy.

r said"Last time I even made a joke with a client I was called by a PO - the guy was taken of GPS after several months, and I said something about he ought to be careful with all that freedom because he had more opportunity to get into trouble - to me this is just setting up the idea that I'm going to ask a few more questions about your whereabouts and activities."

I was told by a wise examiner that you aren't established until you've had a complaint aginst you------after all, we are not on everyone's list of favorite people to spend time with.

r said; "There are jurisdictional variations too. You once mentioned running a "new" kind of test. If someone did that in Colorado, they'd probably be subject to demanding phone call, if not a professional complaint."

I don't run any sort of "new " kind of test, I just leave the instrument running unrecorded sans cuff pressure in real time in the post test for 15 minutes or so. This is merely "old school" ---and no formal call is made as to the specific arousal areas.

r said "You might get away with cursing, based on your personality, authenticity, judicious use /non-use, or the balancing effect of the extra-cursing rapport you have built. Other people might not get away with it. One of the best measuring sticks for the viability of a professional skill is - could you teach others to do it? I think we might just create more problems than we'd solve if we tried that."

You say "get away with" as if I/we am/are committing a crime or breaking a rule if we use occasional profanity. I agree that using profanity isn't a uniform trait----as if it makes you feel uncomfortable, than you shouldn't do it. I have yet to be complained upon by any of the almost 2000 sex offender tests I've ran-----they usually complain about other things such as the usual triangulation topics----denial of disclosure(s) , thus necessitating the video audit----if they complain at all. Although I once dismissed the Reverand Dobson as not knowing anything about sex offender treatment----and the sanctimonious examinee complained that I discredited his religious icon. I didn't cuss with that guy as he was cloaked in the DOC religiosity.

I am with Teddy Bear on this one Ray. I do trust myself not to be a copralaliac (some one who is obsessed with using profanity).

r said "Your missing a good time. Too bad you're not here."

yes indeedy. aw poop!

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Bill2E
Member
posted 08-21-2007 10:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
I disagree with the use of profanity during polygraph including but not limited to PCSOT. We do not mimmic the offender, we do a polygraph examination. I would not even think of mimmicing the offenders behaviors, so I would not feel comfortable mimmicing his speech habits. Maybe we should set the example of how to articulate rather than becoming involved in bad grammer.

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stat
Member
posted 08-22-2007 04:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for stat Edit/Delete Message
I don't think anyone would want to mimic an offender's behavior, or grammer. I believe the core of the point of using profanity----and I do believe if used, there should be a reason----is that it is a process of grooming the offender. By grooming, I mean to provide the offender with a sense of commonality. In the old days, an interrogator would attempt to smoke the same brand of cigarette as the subject. In the realm of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), this act is called "Mirroring"---and there is compelling evidence that it is effective for getting admissions. Just ask the ATF. The other gain by using "strategic profanity" (I'll take credit for that phrase thank you) is to stave off phonyism----the kind of stuffiness seen in high brow, caucasion boy scout types, who think that they can set a good example for psychotic thugs or manipulative cons. Such a puritanical " good example" only further distances the examiner from the examinee, at least with the very rough and hard-core types. Despite all those confessional booths, priests don't get very many great confessions anymore.

Incidentally, I do not use profanity in an applicant screening test, nor an EPPA test-----ever.

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