Psychotherapy Off the Wall

But there was something quite different about Hector. On the Eysenck test, his Extroversion score was at the first percentile point. That is, he would be thought of as very introverted, as only one percent of the population would score lower than he did on extraversion. This, in turn, would mean that he ought to learn new emotional habits very slowly – that is, his conditionability would be very slow. Based on his experience with other patients undergoing the SCARS procedure, Felicity estimated that it would require as many as 125 half-hour treatment sessions to complete treatment with Hector. Without allowing for vacations and other sources of missed appointments, at the maximum frequency of twice per week that Felicity could afford, that would mean he would need sixty-three weeks, or sixteen months, to complete the treatment.
But Hector had only twelve months of sentence time left to serve when Felicity was ready to start treating him. Considering Hector’s rather cavalier attitude toward his offenses, Felicity did not expect him to give up any of his ‘earned remission’ (‘good time’) off the end of his sentence in order to complete the treatment programme. But, in fact, Hector did give up enough of his earned remission to complete the treatment. By about half way through the treatment, Hector’s attitude changed and he expressed what sounded like real remorse for the things he had done. And it seemed to Felicity that giving up earned remission confirmed the seriousness with which he finally viewed his offenses.
Eleven years have elapsed since Hector was released from this sentence. He enrolled in school, took courses, and became involved in a variety of interesting or frankly weird projects in the ensuing years. With each new project, Hector sent Felicity some memento of what he was doing – a copy of his certificate or a photograph – or he wrote or phoned to tell Felicity what he was up to. Also, by chance, Felicity had several face-to-face encounters with Hector on the street. Hector used these opportunities to talk about what he had been doing. Felicity used them as follow-up contacts. And Felicity’s repeated ‘pulls’ of Hector’s correctional file has continued to show a clean record, right up to date. [“To date” being somewhat dated, since Doug Quirk died in 1997.]

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