Behind The Trigger: Part 2 | Dr. Faye Snyder

Dr. Faye Snyder believes her predictor scoresheet will offer parents better maps to successful results, plus what to avoid. The same scoresheet is predictive and explanatory to psychologists, school counselors, attorneys, and judges.

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Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

The Myth of Inborn Traits

In Part I of this article, Dr. Faye Snyder outlined the essential ingredients in personality, derived from the critical events of childhood and how they are experienced on a bell curve from extremely negative to extremely positive outcomes over a lifetime. Part II intends to address her field and introduce the Predictor Scale and Score Sheet to clarify the amount of danger a person is in or can be to others. Dr. Snyder offers mitigating tips to parents and clinicians using some real-life stories. 

However, before reviewing Dr. Snyder’s insights for assessments and scoring, she wanted to address the conventional notion of inherited behavioral traits. “I came to the field fancying myself as a theoretician, always looking for causes behind effects. I became a researcher of research, which revealed issues of validity. I have discovered a sad amount of fraud in the process, and I presented a list of research fraud methods in my book, The Search for the Unholy Grail. 

Snyder says most of the public and even most clinicians do not know that the nature v nurture debate has been settled. The Scandinavian Studies were flawed, and the Human Genome Project found no behavioral genes.

The HGP hired the best geneticists, using the best equipment in the world and found nothing. “I saw some genetic scientists complain to one another that they had been misled by behavioral scientists, especially the Scandinavian Twin Studies, Schizophrenia Studies, and Adoption Studies. 

The behavioral scientists utilized deception to “prove genetics”. They still do. Several great scientists uncovered scientific fraud, such as Jay Joseph, Richard Lewontin, Bruce Perry, Colin Ross, and Robert Whitaker, just to name a few.  

Upon scrutiny one could find none of the studies included a child’s attachment years and “twins separated at birth” morphed into “twins reared apart”, for they included twins separated as late as age 15. “Age correcting” methods allowed scientists to count a second twin as half schizophrenic, because they would “predictably” develop schizophrenia. Terms like “incomplete penetrance”, meant that the gene was presumed but not found, because it didn’t express itself. 

Then there were changes in definitions such that schizophrenia included multiple diagnoses to include bipolar and some ‘diagnoses’ they invented, all to raise the stats. One could find funding evidence at the end of a study, such as pharmaceutical sponsors and recommendations for chemical treatment. 

When the Human Genome Project failed to find evidence for genes causing behavior, the news was remarkably reserved, while a pharmacist proposed another theory to fill the void that sounded like genetics, using a vocabulary that borrowed from the terminology of genetics, with many of the same tricks. Pharmacist Moshe Szyf called it epigenetics. Snyder still finds shared obfuscation in terminology, research designs, and results. 

This time the theory was that patients still do have underlying, pre-existing predispositions (also indicated, but not proven) for mental health or not, which environment allegedly triggers. So, chemical interventions are recommended at the end of every pharmaceutically afforded research paper.  

“When I taught at California State University, Northridge in 2005-2006, I asked students at the beginning of each class, ‘What percentage of your behavior is inborn and what percentage of your behavior is learned, totaling 100%?’ Additionally, I asked, ‘What percentage of a serial killer’s behavior is inborn and what percentage of a serial killer’s behavior is learned, with a total score of 100%?’ I found that out of 108 students, 105 said 50/50 both times. One said 100 percent learned. Another said 100% genetic.” 

Like any other science, our professionals need to see clearly. We are held to evidence-based practice, and although it sounds good, our field does not consider cause. We still assume some traits are inborn, even though we can’t prove it, and we certainly can’t identify what is inborn and what is of environment. We might as well believe in 100% genetics.  

With such a blinding assumption, one cannot know what behaviors are learned by experience and can be unlearned or which behaviors or conditions are presumed inborn and can only be altered with chemicals. How can one deduce childhood conditioning, if one doesn’t know which behavior is conditioned and which is inborn? 

“The 50/50 Hypothesis, presumed knowledge en masse, is not based upon any evidence,” says Dr. Snyder. “It’s pure mythology.”

Accordingly, Snyder points out that “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM, now DSM-5) only identifies the constellations of symptoms with nomenclature but not causes. As such, the medical model promotes the nature over nurture model with pharmaceutical treatments. [Neutralize and bury the symptoms instead of expressing them out.] Insurance companies promote the quick fix therapies, which usually lead to adult drug dependency.

“That useless and typical airy-fairy hypothesis of a speculated genetic cause continues to blur our vision with the assumption that some of our character is inborn, and we’ll never know which is which.” Snyder holds that such an orientation influences how and what we see “or rather, what we imagine.”

It’s time we lead when it comes to psychology. The medical model never earned its way to understanding behavior. It’s time we shine a light on the real causes and effects of childhood suffering. It’s time to explain that the most violent amongst us are those who suffered the worst childhoods. That’s our job. 

Fragmented

The National Digest wanted to know what else Dr. Snyder would say to her profession, given the opportunity. Without hesitation, she began by explaining that early in our education students of psychology are often asked to choose their orientation in which we will specialize. We come to know a body of science mostly within our lane, “such that often the right hand of psychology doesn’t know what the left hand is doing,” notes Dr. Faye. 

“So a trauma therapist may not be fully informed or practiced in attachment influences, or a cognitive behavioral therapist may not know the impacts of previous family systems. Put another way, my field is fragmented.” 

Divergent theoretical orientations for how to practice therapy are fine. The problem is that we don’t track or envision cause clearly, especially as most of us assume behavior is half caused by genetic instruction. 

“Nature never has a single cause,” continues Dr. Snyder. Nature always develops with primary causes, secondary causes, tertiary causes, and even minute factors in unique constellations.” 

“I have a story to tell. I have been paying attention to research and primary causes for 35 years. It began when I was an intern, and I realized that the beliefs by my clients that their behaviors were inborn were problematic for them. 

“So I steered their concerns toward the first times they felt that way. There seemed to be a correlation between their youngest memories and their coping styles. 

“I began outlining a parenting class of cause and effect, drawn from my education, my own healing, raising my infant and listening to my clients. It became a prelude to therapy, facilitating insight into the effects of their own trauma and upbringing. 

“At the same time, I saw that, as with me, one can heal a person, but if they continue coping the same old way, they continue to attract the same results. I began introducing the healthy relationship skills that my husband, Ron, taught me. 

“Then, something amazing happened at this skills workshop. Like every intern, I was into diagnosing personality disorders. I shared what I was learning out loud. Patients seemed to want a name for what troubled them. 

“So, I watched “Narcissists” compare notes with narcissists, borderlines with borderlines, and so forth. While I was teaching them healthy interaction skills, they had begun to identify similar adaptations to similar circumstances. By the time my patients left the group, they were no longer diagnosable, and I had learned that personality disorders were nothing more than learned coping skills. 

“I called my theory The Causal Theory [as in cause and effect]. It utilizes the best research. It has been mostly a guide for understanding how behavior is created, independent of inborn theories. 

“My parenting class developed further, and I was invited to teach developmental psychology at CSUN, where I laid out four developmental categories with subcategories which must all be taken together if we are to understand behavior. Most importantly, these categories can mitigate or compound one another. 

A Unified Field Theory of Psychology

Snyder says the best discoveries in psychology each identify independent causes, although several of our best scientists do acknowledge the primary results from the other fields and even how they matter wholistically. For example, Bessel van der Kolk, our living great researcher on trauma, says that the worst trauma of all is attachment trauma, especially because it usually makes a person fragile for life and more susceptible to future trauma. John Bowlby, attachment researcher extraordinaire, wrote that attachment is just one factor of several that must be considered together with other primary experiences to understand people. Family Systems theorists hold that mental health issues are born within family dynamics. 

“Understanding the primary causes for behavior makes for better childhoods. Understanding the powerful natural ways of healing, makes therapy more profound. Without these guidelines therapists are winging it with the 50/50 Assumption, mostly with empathy, alliance, self-awareness, and tools of persuasion, all valuable offerings. However, science, real science and resulting insight are key to genuine evidence-based practice.”  

Today, a “Unified Field Theory of Psychology,” proposes an integrative overview of the most relevant theories and studies of the primary experiences of childhood. “Our best science has already arrived.” Says Snyder. “Unfortunately, our common practice of graduate schools is to require students to use references that are less than ten years old for dissertations, so the best research is usually omitted.” 

Dr. Snyder also draws from her previous understandings of the ways of nature. Snyder says she came to the profession as a theoretician first who was always curious about real, not imagined, cause. “The old is in the new, so you can never understand anything without knowing its history.” 

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

“Everything is comprised within opposites in relationship. Like an ever-extending web, everything is also in relationship with things outside of it, whether harmonious or adversarial. These relationships can be supportive or detrimental. Thus, development takes place from the inside out. The relationships within and between things is the essence of development. For example, carbon molecules in one formation create coal. In another formation, they create a diamond.” 

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Dr. Snyder likens the critical factors of childhood to a concert. Our personality is like the keys on a piano (genetic makeup of the body) played by the pianist (the parents) over the total of childhood experiences to create the melody

The pianist could never play a note without the piano, but the piano could never make music without the knowledge, skill, and experience of the pianist. As such, parenting techniques combine to create a melody in each of us like none other from our imprinted experiences, not from genes.  

Dr. Snyder suggests, “Some melodies rock, some soothe, and some are disturbingly cacophonous. With our best research of critical childhood experiences, we can knit together an overview of multiple, mutually impacting experiences that mix and create how we think and cope, the total of which we must understand to heal.”

With this insight, maybe we can identify dangerous social practices in our society. 

Normal births are hard enough. If an infant could speak, she might say, “Did someone just hold me upside down and slap me? What are they sticking in my nose? Ouch! Did they just prick my foot? Is this what they do here, out of the womb?

Dr. Snyder acknowledges that The Causal Theory is based upon other research and are original only in that she addresses the implications of true versus false research and combined versus isolated research. 

Further, Snyder has found some glaring holes in the medical world. She told The National Guardian, “I hope someday soon a behavioral scientist will develop a research design to identify the impact on and commonality between adults (grown children) who spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I think they would find highly challenged adults with a sort of ‘desperate aloneness’ revealing the importance of protecting the essential mother-infant bond in the NICU. I’d like to know if the percentage of shooters who spent time in the NICU is higher than the general population.” 

When the beginning is so offensive, the infant is undoubtedly impacted. “Are they carrying me away to somewhere else now? What is this box I’m in? Am I doomed to be alone now?” If this offense goes on for days, the trajectory of that baby’s life is changed where expectations and defensiveness replace experiences. 

“Now, like all humans, a jaded baby will come to see what she expects to see rather than what is.” This baby’s Mommy should commit extra understanding and patience to revise her child’s fear and mistrust into safety and trust. That also means that every NICU should have soft, large, reclining rocking chairs in which mom can also sleep. Add music. Mom could watch tv with earbuds to survive the waiting. Push for as much time in mom’s arms as possible, if the time under a lamp must be necessary, too.  

Dr. Snyder explained that this concern especially applies to newborns who have birth trauma and can’t breathe for a terrifying minute. Maybe they suddenly encounter cold and mean medical instruments, a “rejecting mother”, or get left behind in the hospital after Mommy goes home. 

Dr. Faye says, “If a baby is left behind for a week in the NICU, their life-long resilience will be much lower than from any other time. Our earliest experiences are foundational to personality or outlook and coping. They may not cry by the time they are home, or they may be inconsolable. They may always seem frantic or aloof. They may seem either desperate for love or at war. They may begin attaching to equipment or things with symptoms of autism. 

Eventually the crying ends, but the child has withdrawn trust and curiosity, very likely for life. “NICU babies that grew up and show up for therapy often still seem inconsolable,” says Dr. Snyder with some visible angst. “Other behaviors may develop, such as a rather rigid countenance, underlying anger, or lack of affection. Trauma, such as a terrifying lack of oxygen from strangulation by the umbilical cord at birth, painful and insensitive medical procedures, or lack of touch in the beginning of life could put a child on the Autism Spectrum,”

“Perhaps in the NICU she was not sufficiently held and began ‘bonding’ with objects. Maybe our patient had to suffer pain through numerous medical procedures, always waking up alone, or for which she only understood that life for her was about bigger people torturing her, and the kind ones not returning, alone with no one to protect her. 

“The content of cold business and regular comings and goings,” says Dr. Faye, “results in profoundly unstable personalities. Someone should do the longitudinal research.”  

“When I am unsure what the cause of some strong emotional, but lone-wolf behavior when everything was represented as ‘fine’ at home, I have learned to ask the question: ‘Did you come right home from the hospital with your mother?’ Did anything go wrong at birth?’ I am still surprised how often this factor shows up to clarify fringe personalities.” 

One more thing. Some of these infants of early deprivation are diagnosed with autism, and parents conclude to go easy on the child. Some don’t even discipline an autistic child, because “they can’t do any better”. It’s as if the child can’t learn social skills to integrate, even though we can teach a puppy. This parental choice triples or quadruples the child’s long-term social inadaptability. Whatever the diagnosis or symptoms, childhood is our chance to help a person become socially desirable and self-sufficient. They need to practice doing necessary things. When this is not done, the long-term results may be a tragically dependent adult in need of long-term services. 

Giving our child a pass to go easy on them is a terrible choice with serious adult consequences. This applies to normally born children too, whose parents decide to baby them all the way into adulthood, creating dependent and weak adults who require higher degrees of help and latitude for the rest of their lives.  

Forensics and Evidence Based Science, or Not

Dr. Faye has been watching Court TV since 1993 and reading some opinions of forensic evaluators. Milwaukee’s Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was evaluated by five evaluators and another two observers, including his biographer Dr. Joel Norris and Dr. Snyder, who consulted with Dr. Norris. “Except for the latter two, there were no mutual standards or any evidence-based practice,” she said. “They were all looking through the lens of their specialties, mostly behavioral, considering separate criteria for motives, mostly distinct from cause. 

“Dahmer offered some major clues to his childhood, which none of the court evaluators recognized to interpret motives and intentions. I learned from information offered to me by Dr. Norris, who visited Dahmer’s old neighborhood for interviews, that Dahmer’s mother didn’t want to touch him.

In his interview with lead evaluator Judith Becker, PhD, Dahmer told her his favorite song and a dream, both of which revealed that he suffered from lack of touch. The song was by Peter Townsend of “The Who”, with the repeated lyrics, “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me”. 

Dahmer was literally starving for touch (skin, flesh). He found desperate ways to keep lovers from leaving. Yet, one evaluator proffered that Dahmer was a sadist, another that he was a necrophiliac. He could not attract affection, because he had learned no social skills. He could not keep a relationship, because he had no social skills. His father stayed out late at work. His parents fought with such venom that he would run outside and hug the tree until it was safe. 

Almost all parental engagements with Dahmer involved body parts. His two caring memories from his mother were when she taught him to impale butterflies and allowed him to listen to her belly when she was pregnant with his younger brother. His father taught him to gut fish. When he was scheduled for a hernia operation at age three, he was told he was going to lose his penis. Dahmer over-drugged his lovers and attempted a lobotomy with one to keep him alive, but also to keep him from leaving. The evaluators did not understand or think in terms of cause.  

“The same blindness was evident in the FBI’s assessment of the shooters at Columbine. They were not able to identify motives and simply said one kid was malevolent and the other was a follower. There was apparently no review of childhood experiences, even though all the primary issues are just as important in middle class and upper-class families. 

Both boys had suffered weak identities (likely due to neglect by career-oriented parents) and social skills, which developed only from parental engagement. Both had suffered social harassment and rejection by the popular kids. 

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Favored people and favored children are common targets of (neglected) shooters.

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Again, FBI evaluator Park Dietz, MD, who offered a post-mortum evaluation of the Columbine shooters, also interviewed The Ice Man. Richard Kuklinski had witnessed his father regularly beat his mother, his siblings, and him. He tenderly tried to protect his little brother from his father’s wrath. He saw his father kill his little brother. Then, the entire family was expected to cover and keep that secret, and they did. 

When Richard Kuklinski asked Dr. Dietz at the end of the interview, practically choking on the question, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ Forensic Evaluator Park Dietz utilized the general world view, 50/50—fifty percent genes and 50 percent childhood. “So much for evidence-based practice!” grunted Dr. Faye. 

The Score Sheet

Dr. Faye uses the Predictor Score Sheet and Scale that converts a final tally into probabilities, insight, self-awareness, understanding, concerns, and strengths. 

So, in considering abuse on the PSSS from -10 to 0 to 10, a child who is spanked a few times between 8 to 10 years old would score close to average (-1) for the corporal punishment, because some children, even babies, get hit on the head or whipped daily or whenever their parent lashes out with meaninglessness and unpredictability, as well as the painful experience of feeling hurt, unloved, and despised (-10), while a child who is disciplined with natural consequences and a meaningful, but brief, lesson in ethics, will become self-regulating. 

In consideration of sexual abuse (-10 to 10), a child who is exposed to a parent’s genitals at age ten (-3), it is not as traumatized as the child who is molested at age three by a parent (-10) or regularly gang-raped at age 13 (-10), [Charles Manson). So, scoring requires relative consideration of such factors that are age, frequency, and severity.”  

When we score, we need to compare our patient with a reality-based understanding of the rest of the world. That means we need to know and fathom the best and the worst childhoods to understand the best of humanity and the worst. 

If a family has a repression ethic, where expressions, ideas and feelings are assumed and not often discussed, the scoring for expression would be more like a -7 in a scale of -15 to 15. An entirely repressed family, like that of the Menendez Brothers, with a public face and secret life, would score a complete -15, which is a necessary ingredient to violence, added to the failed attachment and severe sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. 

“We can see how a repression ethic often correlates with dishonesty and danger, and an open person may be more ethical and transparent. Even though I honor confidentiality, I bring my authentic self to the dialogue to encourage more authenticity in my patients.”

The total expanse of a childhood score is from -100 to 100 over a span of 200 points.  

When adding adult choices for better or worse that have modified the trajectory of the grown child, the span stretches from -150 to 150, with adult modifiers weighing in, creating a total span of 300, with 0 being average at the top of the bell curve.

 “With an entire range of 300 points on a bell curve, scoring within 30 points of other raters, the inter-rater reliability is good. Just like a teacher scoring an essay there’s subjectivity and objectivity in the process.” 

Adult Modifiers, to include therapy, can change the trajectory of our childhood for better or worse by the choices we make in early adulthood. “Good friends can raise you up. Good therapy can raise you up. Bad friends can take you down. Street drugs and even pharmaceuticals can take you down,” says Dr. Faye. These are also important things to consider on the scoresheet, “for which it would be a good move for the clinician to credit their client for initiating therapy and modifying their score again when therapy ends.”  

Snyder has a student whose brother is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murder. She scored a -45 for childhood, but upon including her adult modifiers her total score was initially -60. “She processed her therapy not only making sense of her self-destructive young adult behaviors, but also making sense of her two brothers. Then she entered my Relationship Skills Workshop where she now scores at about 60 with the adult modifiers. Therapy (psychoeducation, trauma work, and relationship skills) raised her score 120 points from -60 to 60. The scoresheet does not allow any modifications that would take a score below -150 on the bell curve (the worst recorded human behavior) or above 150 (the best recorded human behavior).

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Unless we are led to discover the greatest modifier–self-awareness–we unfold according to the way we were treated and what we witnessed.”

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

I have met so many people from tough childhoods who had moments where they thought, “I never want to do that” or, “I would never treat my child like that.” This is self-awareness, because the child is aware of how she is being treated and knows it is wrong, even as it is happening. Children who justify their parents have more adult suffering and failures than those who don’t. 

A therapist wants to develop this skill in her patient. Dr. Faye suggests, “Don’t wait for the patient to figure it out. In occasional moments, you can be the parent she never had. So, teach. 

You can start with the interview, finding meaning in the scoring. Thus, clients can make more sense of themselves, as we make more sense to them.” 

“With the PSSS and some truly good research since James Watson introduced behaviorism and the “Black Box” of the unknown and unknowable, we can get easily to the hidden source of each client’s pain. In the process, we can also identify our patient’s unconscious assumptions, unnecessary parent-defending, and misconceptions within their treatment modality. 

With practice, therapists will recognize the ways that the critical childhood experiences affect each other and be able to ask meaningful questions about experiences based upon coping skills. 

Nature waits to be discovered. We never invent it. 

–Dr. Faye

Formula of Care

Even if a parent believes they don’t have it in them to be naturally responsive, knowing the ‘Formula of Care’ could make a profound difference in their child’s future character. A parent will be better at some of these things than at others. “Do what you can,” says Dr. Snyder.

“A rocked child will not grow up violent. You can sing, read nightly stories, talk softly, or listen to music together. Such a ritual is healing and calming. It also helps if the stories encourage character and insight. My favorite story was ‘Ferdinand the Bull.’”

“We need to ensure that our children are free to express themselves respectfully unless they are releasing an emotional build up, in which case, may respect be damned.” Our children need the abilities to describe their feelings and thoughts to get them out of their bodies and to organize their thoughts. They should be able to ask questions safely, and we should do our best to answer them. 

It is the regular expression of thoughts and feelings that keep us current. Then, there is the dumping of old, built-up torturing thoughts and feelings for some mega-healing. This would include crying, yelling, roaring, and screaming. It could also be journaling. It could be a dialogue that clears the air. 

Another built-in avenue for healing is The Third Eye (that dot on the center of the forehead we sometimes see on Indian citizens), which represents the Gift of Overview. It is a part of the brain that enables us to observe others with perspective taking and to witness our own thinking while we are thinking from the executive or reasoning part of our brain. The Gift of Overview is pure objectivity. We can observe our own thinking and the results of our thoughts and actions in real time. The Third Eye is for clear seeing. Period. The Gift of Overview is a priceless key to self-observation, self-awareness, assessment, and transcendence. Seeing is change

If we use the Third Eye to judge, however, it doesn’t work. Judgement is a waste of consciousness. Identity is a waste, as well. Identity is ever-changing and nothing to defend, represent or market. Just be and do your best. You will enjoy the ride so much better.”

“My dad taught me to wiggle my ears. Well, he didn’t teach me how. He just told me where to look. It took a while to find the muscles to my ears so I could wiggle them. It’s the same for finding self-awareness.”

Assessment is good. It is OK to use the executive functioning (primary) brain to assess, which is different than observing. It is different from judging. If I call a family member an alcoholic, and I tell them never to come around again, that’s judgement. If I tell them they can come around after they have had a half-year of sobriety, that’s assessment. Judgement condemns. Assessment determines conditions.

Judgement writes people off as inferior and incapable of redemption. Judgement comes often in name-calling and blaming. Assessment is objective and useful. 

Yes, if” is an ideal rejection. When misunderstood, it’s called blackmail. “Yes, if” is a simple observation and response by setting a boundary that is open to reconsideration. In the process, “Yes, if” is informative. It invests in the growth of the other.    

There are four essential traits for healing and another two for winning. To heal we need self-observation, courage to face pain and facts, a profound love of the truth, no matter what, and humility or humbleness, to disable the ego, which is essential for healing. We must leave pride out of it. Which of these traits can you readily employ, and which ones need practice? 

There are two essential traits for winning. They are self-regulation and persistence. Self-regulation is the will to do what is in front of us to do, even when we don’t feel like it. If we are behind, we do what we need to do to catch up. If we have self-regulation, we will not likely become homeless or addicted, even if we have an insecure attachment. We can help create self-regulation, where children learn to do the right thing when it is in front of them to do, such as their homework, telling the truth, apologizing, and becoming self-aware. These values are learned when parents model them, but also when we teach and guide our children to practice them and offer praise for such choices. 

I take my method for teaching self-regulation to a young child from Super Nanny Jo Frost. You teach the rules. Say them. Put them up on the wall. The child will test you. You say one time, “I see you broke the rules, so you are in time out now. Set your timer for one minute for every year of age, so the child sees. Don’t stand over the child or remind her. Do not talk to her.

Walk away with a mirror or some way to know if she got up. When the child does, without a word, go get the child and put her back on the chair and reset the timer, so she must start over. Sooner or later the child decides on her own to sit still for the duration (one minute for every year of age).

Self-regulation is making the choice to do the thing that leads to success, not because of being ordered to do so, but from making the choice for oneself. When done, go to the child and ask why the time out. The child explains. Give a hug and forgive. Self-regulation, versus obedience, is essential for success in life. https://supernanny.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_timeouts_in_Supernanny_US_(2005-2011)

Persistence is the ability to keep going as needed, so that we become successful in our endeavors. Parents can encourage children to practice these traits. We care for ourselves by following through and finishing what we started. An extra benefit is the reputation we earn. At first these traits seem difficult. They can become habits that are almost automatic and self-fulfilling, almost like a favorite coat.

We can prepare our children to have organized thinking, organized lives, and personal order. For example, before bed, a child can take her little basket around the house and collect all her belongings to put away. Daddy can help her organize her brain as he sits in the bedroom awaiting the arrival of the child and basket, and then take the items one by one, “Where does this go?” “Where do you think this should go?” “What about this?” “Where should that go?” Let the child decide because it helps the child organize her brain as she organizes her surroundings (and life) logically and in categories. In the process, teach the child to let go and throw out or, better yet, recycle. These habits of order will reflect in her life.

Dr. Snyder additionally emphasizes the importance of ethics, along with teaching kids to do the hard thing that is in front of them to do, while being true to themselves. Good ethics are life-affirming, and bad ethics are life-denying. For example, praise for a good choice or good job is life-affirming, while criticism for an accidental mistake would be life-denying. 

Occasionally ask your child, “What do you stand for?” 

Lastly, healing requires release. We can’t release what we hold back. If we are holding in resentment, release it. I’m not saying forgive. I’m saying feel, get mad, and after releasing, forgive. If we stored up forbidden abuse, release it. If we fear being judged for our feelings, release them anyway, perhaps in private. Release to the source, whether real or imagined. Release with an enlightened witness also helps. 

Healing is the release of forbidden thoughts and emotions. We cannot heal any other way, whether by positive thinking, premature forgiveness, practicing new habits, or by any kind of drugs. “Releasing feelings is damn near pleasant,” says Dr. Faye. “The denial and dread of the same feelings creates the suffering, long suffering.” 

One last important thing: when we release the feelings, they must be released with the original source in mind. If you think you are wigging out over something that just happened, the odds are that the original injury was denied a long time ago, and you are in the mood to scapegoat an innocent person. You can’t heal by scapegoating in the present. You can only heal by revisiting the original injuries as closely as you can recall or picture and then releasing the long-stored, persistent feeling from that moment in time. 

The last items on the score sheet are score modifiers for adults who have made positive and negative adult choices that changed the trajectory of a life. “Good friends can raise you up. Good therapy can raise you up. Bad friends can take you down. Street drugs and even pharmaceuticals can take you down,” says Dr. Faye. All our choices have long-term ramifications. 

Stories of Healing or Not

In extreme cases children are far more difficult to heal and sending them to ordinary therapy with regular therapists is likely very unproductive. I recommend Wilderness Therapy, the good ones. Dr. Faye says vet them or have your therapist vet them. Look for a program that is a month to two months. Plan on mortgaging your house for about $30K unless the government can understand that such an investment in a highly disturbed child would be worth it. As we have seen juvenile hall can wake a few kids up, but it also conditions others to be worse. 

There may be some bad camps but know this: children and families at this stage are prone to be very nihilistic, and the most unredeemable of these children will complain. It has happened to me.  

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Scapegoating happens when we don’t give back our original pain to our perpetrator.

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

“I once had a patient who was brought to me by his entire family. They said he was ruining their collective fun. The family was made up of many chefs and all of them loved cuisine. They had a family ritual of going out one Friday night ever month for fine dining. My new client was ruining everything for them. From the moment they would enter the venue, he would begin throwing his weight around. By the end of the dinner he had called the owner, the maître d, the cashier, and the chef to the table to complain. They had become banished from several restaurants, and they wanted me to ‘fix him’. 

“I asked my new client how he felt about politeness, and he said, ‘That’s no fun! I don’t want to give it up.’ I was shocked. He readily admitted that he enjoyed shaming other people. I began referring to his 12 o’clock high, with questions about from whence it came. I was looking for an imprint, and we finally got to it. 

This young man told me that he was the youngest child in the family and the lacky at all the family dinners. He had to set the table, get forgotten items from the refrigerator and wash dishes. He was often disrespected and teased. Some members of the family thought it was fun.” I could see why this imprint had a gleeful 12 o’clock. 

“I called upon the family to meet with us. I prepared my client to tell them that the way they had treated him had hurt him. I also prepared the family to listen and to each apologize. They planned a special dinner in his honor after that. It was one of the fasted cases I ever got to process. It took three sessions to give the injury back to the repentant source. 

Jazz

Dr. Faye told another story of an adult sibling brought to her office by a patient who left his brother there for a visit with me. The sibling brought a couple of tape recordings. He said, “This tape is the last concert I ever played, and this is me now [playing at the hospital alone, where I live.]” Dr, Faye saw that the first tape sounded emotional and beautiful. It was bluesy progressive jazz, and the second tape sounded like modern jazz, more mechanical and mathematical, as he was on psychotropic medications then.

“This young man said he got a lot of compliments for his work that last night. He was filled up with feelings of worth. Driving home to his parent’s house, he had the thought that he had never been loved. His parents had always been cold and indifferent. He was welled up. 

The young man broke through his parents’ front door and fell to the floor crying about how he had never been loved. He sat up and a diatribe came from him. He wailed. He raged. Just as he was winding down, a man appeared at the door. He was a psychiatrist who his father had called. The two men held him, and he was given a shot that ended the rant, after which he was taken away. On my day with the young man, it had already been five years at the hospital. 

Dr. Faye asked him, “When do you get to leave that setting” to which the young man said, “Never. It’s my home now. I have been told that if I ever leave, I will be a danger to myself and others.” 

Dr. Faye said, “The reason I tell you that story is this: That young man had just healed.” 

Sandy Hook

What happened to Adam Lanza? Adam loved and hated his mother. She was required to talk to him on command outside his door where he lived in her basement. She shopped for him, did his laundry, and cooked his food, as he had a special diet. She apparently failed to attach to Adam in infancy and met a high price that she genuinely tried to repay. 

Nancy Lanza wrote in an email, rather authoritatively, as if she had firsthand experience, “Parental bonds are formed so early in life… they are either there or they aren’t. It is a direct product of how much the parent put into that early relationship.” 

“I was rather shocked to read her words,” said Dr. Faye. “They were as if I had written them, so it sounds a bit like a confession. As if trying to make amends, she met him daily and talked to him from outside his closed door, where he made demands that she met. She didn’t prepare him for independence. Guilt possibly kept her from teaching him self-reliance. She allowed him to call the shots.” 

Nancy was prepared for Armageddon and had an arsenal of rifles. The one thing mother and son had in common were visits to the gun range. She also took him to the school where she volunteered to help with kindergarteners. It was the same classroom that Adam later visited alone with his automatic rifle.  

Adam was of age, and so his mother was in search of a college for grown children with disabilities such as his, as he clearly was on the Autism Spectrum. She tried an experiment to see if he could handle three days away and returned two days before her murder. 

Adam shot and killed her with one of her guns and then went to the elementary school where she was an aid and shot children in the classroom where she once helped out. 

Uvalde

How could we have identified the odd behavior of Salvador Rolando Ramos, the Uvalde, Texas shooter? To Dr. Faye, “It was obvious.” Dr. Snyder said that protocols for prevention are needed further, and that doesn’t necessarily include taking a young child from his mother. 

It appeared from an interview on Tik Tok with Ramos’ mom that she despaired for her son and his victims. “She was sad and expressed regret that she had failed her son.” She did not have custody of her child at the time. Ramos was with his grandparents. 

“Mom expressed remorse in a brief TicToc interview that is now gone. Ramos’ replacement parent, his mother’s mother, was the first one he murdered on his rampage before he went to the classroom where she volunteered.  

Apparently, grandma and her husband, parented according to the Tulip Theory. They were just warehousing the boy. Ramos, too, was a ‘tulip bulb that supposedly needed no extra care’. 

“From watching the TicToc interview, I also saw the step-grandfather (playing father) display no apparent interest or knowledge of the child’s status, possessions, attitude, or actions. He was on probation. He only engaged minimally with the boy, even though he was the one who took Rolondo to school. They were silent all the way. He claimed he did not know the boy had guns. He did not know of his activities on the Internet. He knew almost nothing about Salvador.

When such rejection reaches a point of dangerous rage, children begin torturing and killing animals. Ramos reportedly tortured animals online.” 

Like Adam Lanza of Sandy Hook, Ramos would also come to hate children who were cherished. His grandmother volunteered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, like Lanza’s mother. She took him out to dinner two weeks earlier for his birthday, but the father-figure didn’t go. Still, it was she who Ramos killed first. Just like the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, Salvador Ramos hated beloved children and shot his grandmother for caring for them more than him. “What about me?”

“If the mom and grandparents had gathered to tell Ramos a few years earlier that they were so sorry for having failed to show him how special he was to them and that they had come to hear his feelings and thoughts, it might have defused him and could have begun some major healing.”

Atlanta

The word is that the Atlanta Shooter committed a hate crime. Robert Aaron Long was raised in an ultra-fundamentalist Christian religion around guns and rifles. Sex was dirty, unless you were a heterosexual Christian person who was married, and then only the missionary position was sanctioned. Children were to obey, and whippings were approved, if not recommended. 

Dr. Snyder proposes that Long’s childhood was loveless and lacked affection. Robert discovered massage shortly after he turned 21. He was beside himself will wonder and joy, such that he could not contain himself. He told his parents about it. 

Unfortunately, he was shamed, rejected, and banished from their home. He was so confused that he went to three parlors and shot eight people, six of whom were Asian women. He shot them because he was not allowed to cherish and relish their attention. His crime was not a hate crime. However psychotic, it was a love crime. 

Before there is medication, and before there are guns, there are babies and toddlers in othercare. Dr. Snyder explained that people are not inclined to look at a dangerous person as a tormented child who had to grow up. 

We need to resolve the Othercare issue, and we should not lean on video games to occupy our children. 

Hopefully, we can eliminate addictive behaviors from our lives, as well as addictive substances, including psychotropic medication. Some antipsychotics induce psychosis. Most of the shooters are on antipsychotic medications or are detoxing from them without supervision. 

Dr. Snyder says that they don’t blame parents at all at PaRC. “They were children too. What we have here is a chain reaction of cause and effect.”

“I call the children of good parenting the ‘twice-blessed’, because their future lives are predictably more fortunate. I call those who had bad parenting and bad outcomes the ‘double-damned, because they were headed for even more rejection and punishment.” 

“While we have such an epidemic of severely injured children who do grow up, we cannot have firearms available to this population. Period.”

“Perhaps all school counselors could have the Predictor Score Sheet. Perhaps they could interview all troubled children and stay in touch with them. They could write to parents and recommend parenting classes tailored for parents who get it wrong and/or were abused and neglected themselves. 

If that falls on deaf ears, then it’s time to notify Children’s Protective Services, who could remove the child from the home to put him in a very caring professional residence with high-end caregivers of healthy character, excellent training, and therapeutic oversight.”  

Maybe Child Protective Services could foot the therapy bill for violent and defiant children and send them to Wilderness Therapy. It is too expensive, and there are some knock-offs, some of which may not be so good, but one can expect children who don’t respond to the program may be the ones who complain online. “I have referred a number of my client’s out of control children, and it is a miracle cure,” says Dr. Snyder. I cannot fathom any other way to transform these children. What we have now does not work.  

Here we go: If a child (1) has an insecure attachment; (2) suffered severe abuse at an early age; (3) is from a family that models and expects repression of feelings and thoughts; (4) is from a family where they blame one another regularly; (5) imprints destructive or self-destructive parental behavior; (6) takes or is detoxing from psychotropic medication; and (7) lives in a state where he can have access to guns, especially automatic rifles, we have a time bomb

Dr. Snyder doesn’t do therapy with children but treats the children who still want to be understood by treating and educating the parents. She has a 16-hour tape her clients must watch before they even meet with her the first time. “The parent is the healer. Not the therapist.” After parents take the recorded lecture online, they are invited to visit a discussion group conducted by Dr. Faye for up to eight hours (four 2-hour meetings). 

The PaRC agency has parenting and co-parenting classes. They offer conflict resolution workshops. Therapy includes trauma work as well as insight therapy. “In the parenting class, we explain how every personality disorder has obvious causes in childhood, something too rarely acknowledged.” Dr. Faye hopes that if people learn about understanding and predicting behavior, there will be an appetite to test her theory out formally. She has a relatively simple research design in mind that would help assure interrater reliability and relative predictability. And prove the accuracy of the test. 

Dr. Faye has authored seven books thus far to share her theory. She writes to “everyone” in lay terminology, not just colleagues. In her book, The Predictor Scale: Understanding and Predicting Behavior according to Critical Childhood Experiences, she explains the Predictor Score Sheet and Scale (PSSS) with sample outcomes from childhood experiences of 25 well-known people. “This way, the reader or anyone can see what to consider as most important.” 

To learn more about Dr. Snyder’s parenting class, you can click here! She is offering a $50 discount (25% off) to anyone who knows the National Digest password: Cause.

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

“Perhaps, we need to be able to say, if you don’t take this class on how to help your child, you may lose custody. Is that intrusion of privacy? Maybe, but abused and neglected children are helpless, and we need to protect them if they are not to someday do social harm.”

Dr. Faye Synder Psychologist

Dr. Snyder explained that people are not inclined to look at a dangerous person as a tormented child who had to grow up. “I have videos of babies being tortured. I often wonder who they came to kill by now if they even lived. We need to learn to see it’s better to understand a killer, or anyone for that matter, than to simply despise them as someone we can love to hate. 

“I call the children of good parenting the ‘twice-blessed’, because their future lives are predictably more fortunate. I call those who had bad parenting and bad outcomes the ‘double-damned, because they are headed for more rejection and punishment.” 

“Perhaps all school counselors could have the Predictor Score Sheet. They could interview all troubled children and stay in touch with them. They could write to parents and recommend parenting classes tailored for parents who get it wrong and/or were abused and neglected themselves. If that falls on deaf ears, then it’s time to notify Children’s Protective Services, who could remove the child from the home to put her in a very caring professional residence with high-end caregivers of healthy character, excellent training, and therapeutic oversight.”  

Dr. Faye has authored seven books thus far to share her theory. She writes to “everyone” in lay terminology, not just colleagues. In her book, The Predictor Scale: Understanding and Predicting Behavior according to Critical Childhood Experiences, she explains the Predictor Score Sheet and Scale (PSSS) with sample outcomes from childhood experiences of 25 well-known people. “This way, the reader or anyone can see what to consider as most important.” 

To learn more about Dr. Snyder’s parenting class, you can click here! She is offering a $50 discount (25% off) to anyone who knows the National Digest password: Cause.