Born on January 20, 1933 to an aristocratic Lithuanian family, Dr. Hannibal Lecter grew up in a loving environment until the dawn of World War II. After the death of his parents, Hannibal and his younger sister Mischa were held captive by a group of bandits during the winter of 1944. It was at this time that Lecter witnessed and engaged in the death and cannibalization of his sister, Mischa Lecter. Through this experience, Lecter is shown to frequently recall this event throughout his life. For example, during Lecter’s time in Florence, Italy, he experienced a traumatic nightmare regarding his involvement of Mischa demise. This dream is odd within the novel, as it is the only time where Lecter is described as being genuinely fearful for his life. In addition to Lecter’s traumatic memories of Mischa’s demise, is his avoidance of certain stimuli. Specifically, during Lecter’s time in Florence, he attended the Atrocious Torture Instruments show to observe people and to study their mannerisms. It was at this event that Lecter unintentionally discovers a skeleton in a starvation cage. Upon viewing this demonstration, Lecter instantaneously makes an exit. Through this reaction, it is reasonable to assume that Hannibal recalled his sister and left in order to avoid any flashbacks or any reminders of her demise.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter entered mandatory counseling upon incarceration at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Originally, Lecter displayed aggressive behavior as he would attempt to psychologically abuse the clinician and refuse to answer questions prevalent for diagnosis. However after building rapport, Lecter described how he is currently concerned with a seri...
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... with the goal that he may accept his actions and reduce guilt and self-blame within his life.
Lastly, the final phase of therapy teaches the patient cognitive skills fundamental to modify, identify, and assess their beliefs about all traumatic events they have previously experienced. During this phase, patients would target “stuck points”, problematic concepts that interfere with the recovery process, with the intent to analyze and challenge their impractical conclusions regarding their traumatic experience. This is crucial as this phase of therapy allows patients to understand and engage in adaptive coping strategies. At this phase, Lecter would be able to identify and analyze the various beliefs regarding the events that led up to Mischa’s death and, by using CPT, accommodate his beliefs where he would reduce his maladaptive behavior and thoughts.
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