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Stockholm Syndrome and Lima Syndrome

A Look into Paradoxical Psychological Disorders

Rebecca Caskey

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of Stockholm Syndrome and Lima Syndrome

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Two Paradoxical Psychological Disorders
Stockholm Syndrome and Lima Syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome is a name given to the phenomenon when hostages/victims manifest empathetic feelings toward their captors.
What is Stockholm Syndrome?
Then why are there so many documented cases of Stockholm Syndrome?
Most people think along the lines of:
"I'm too strong for that."
"I would never let anyone treat me that way."
"I would never act that way."
"How could anyone feel empathy for people who put their lives at risk."
•Abused Children
•Battered/Abused Women
•Prisoners of War
•Cult Members
•Incest Victims
•Criminal Hostage Situations
•Concentration Camp Prisoners
•Controlling/Intimidating Relationships
Who is most at risk for developing Stockholm Syndrome?
-Must have a perceived threat to physical and psychological survival
-Acquires the "Small Kindness" perception
-Be completely isolated from all perspectives, other than the captor's
-Perceived inability to escape
(Carver, Lopez)
According to her, it was a defense mechanism used to "protect the self from hurt and disorganization."
A Little History:
First termed by Anna Freud "Identification with the Aggressor" - The Ego, 1936
Mary McElroy
Patty Hearst
Jaycee Lee Dugard
Natascha Kampusch
Shawn Hornbeck
Elizabeth Smart
What is happening?
• Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller

• Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support
them or win their release

• Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors

• Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim

• Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser

• Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment
**This was a spin off from dad's Id and
Ego theories.**
"In Stockholm syndrome, there is a sudden, terrifying capture. The hostage is stunned, shocked and often certain that he or she will die. The hostage then becomes like an infant. He or she can't talk, eat, move or use a toilet without permission.

But then, in every one of these cases, little by little, small acts of kindness by one of the captors evoke feelings deeper than relief. "We knew they were killers, but they gave us blankets, cigarettes," one Dutch ex-hostage told me, going on to explain the warmth and compassion he felt toward the men who chose not to kill him. It would be akin to what an infant feels when he gets attention, relieving his thirst, hunger, wetness or fear of neglect - a primitive gratitude for the gift of life, an emotion that eventually develops and differentiates into varieties of affection and love.

The attachment goes both ways. The captor often develops reciprocal feelings toward the hostage. When he does, we on the outside, concerned with rescue, have an advantage. The hostage-taker wants to protect the hostage. But both captor and hostage have little trust in us and may come to hate us. We are the common enemy."
Frank Ochberg, MD
Psychiatrist for The National
Task Force on Terrorism and
Disorder at the time of the Stockholm Bank Robbery -
in my opinion, the guy who was an integral part at the beginning of learning about this phenomenon, and was one of the people who were literally able to "write the book" regarding the bizarre nature of Stockholm Syndrome.
Most Notorious Cases:
Stockholm Syndrome- Where does
the term originate?
The term “Stockholm Syndrome” was coined after a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden . Two gunmen attempted to rob a bank, and in doing so, held four people captive for close to six days. According to numerous reported documentation, the hostages were upset with the police when they came to their rescue. Allegedly, the hostages were angry with the police, and ultimately aided in the captor’s defense by refusing to testify against their kidnappers. Amazingly, these people, whose personal safety was at risk, were able to identify and form a sympathetic bond between themselves and their kidnappers.
Lima Syndrome:
The Exact inverse of Stockholm Syndrome
When an abdubtor sympathizes with his hostages.
The term "Lima Syndrome" originated from Lima, Peru.
Members of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement took hostage hundreds of people attending a party to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Akihito at the official residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru. But within a few hours the captors had released most of the hostages, including the "most valuable ones."
Guy they were
trying to "honor"
11 year old Jaycee Lee Dugard
Natascha Kampusch
Shawn Hornbeck
Mary McElroy
Patricia "Patty" Hearst
Elizabeth Smart
Interesting Study performed in an effort to explain Stockholm and/or Lima Syndrome's:

Meeting a stranger when physiologically aroused increases the chance of having romantic feelings towards them. It's because of a strong connection between anxiety, arousal and attraction. In the 'shaky bridge study' carried out by psychologists Arthur Aron and Don Dutton in the 1970s, men who met a woman on a high, rickety bridge found the encounter sexier and more romantic than those who met her on a low, stable one. The researchers also found that photos of members of the opposite sex were more attractive to people who had just got off a roller coaster, compared with those who were waiting to get on. And couples were more loved-up after watching a suspense-filled thriller than a calmer film.

Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. (1974). Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 510-517.
Trauma Counseling
textbook: Chapter 11 on
Interpersonal Violence states:

"Law enforcement personnel have been
reluctant to intervene in domestic violence situations
because attempts to separate the abuser from the victim often result in the formation of a united
front against the police. "
Counselor Implications:
- Understanding why one would choose to stay in thier current relationship. - they may feel that that is thier only hope for survival

- Understanding why a child who when hit, feels as if it is his fault.

Knowing how these individuals are thinking can help you in building a rapport. The client's newfound trust in you can help the healing process to begin.
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