• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Study of Dennis Nilsen

Extracts from this document...


A Study of Dennis Nilsen Behavioural Approach Reasons for Actions Dennis Nilsen had many accounts as a child, and in his teenage years that, all in turn, contributed to his abnormal adulthood. Firstly, his parents had an unhappy marriage, full of conflict from his father's drunkenness and long absences. His parents then separated, and therefore his mother brought him up. This could have affected his behaviour in later life, because he did not have a father figure as a role model only a grandfather and an older brother. The strongest influence over Nilsen was that of his stern grandparents. This could be applied through Adorno's theory that if a child is brought up very strictly, they could grow angry at the grandparents for the rules, and repress emotions, which cannot be taken out on the grandparents, because of the obvious consequences. ...read more.


Nilsen's exhausted body must have aroused the boy, for he removed his clothes and apparently masturbated onto him. Nilsen awoke to find a sticky white substance on his stomach. This could have triggered off his homosexuality. He confessed that he found dead bodies arousing and he would perform sexual acts on them to. He may have thought (when he was younger) that this act to be acceptable and justifiable. He would also drown various victims. Loneliness remained a constant factor to Nilsen as he grew up. He began to rely on alcohol to stave off loneliness, although he kept his distance from others. Possible Treatments Token Economy Nilsen could have been institutionalised whereby he is rewarded for his positive actions. Hopefully he could slowly learn other pleasures and associate behaving well with rewards. ...read more.


For example, he said: "I stood there amazed. I found it all to hard to believe, that I, Dennis Nilsen, had actually done all that." Possible Treatments Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy This would aim to make Dennis Nilsen to think more rationally, and therefore, according to Ellis, Nilsen should begin to act more rationally. This may be an ambitious objective, as this therapy isn't really designed to cope with the minds of serial killers. However, perhaps over time using this therapy could raise his rational thought processes. Beck's Restructuring Therapy The therapist would teach Nilsen to recognise his maladaptive thinking patterns, and show him how to replace them with more adaptive ones. This would require the cooperation of Nilsen, which seems quite easily achievable judging by quote from him in shock. They would work together to set new goals for Nilsen in order that more realistic and rational beliefs are incorporated into their way of thinking. Darren Johnson SMW ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work