STOPP – In the Name of Love

What you need to know about the Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths, why we exist, what our goals are, and why should you care.

The Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths exists because we believe the issue of psychopathy is best addressed before adulthood when a child’s brain is still forming. Our ultimate goal is to prevent or mitigate psychopathy through early childhood intervention, community dialog, and special residential treatment centers that have been trained specifically in Conduct Disorder (CD) treatment. You should care because CD is sometimes referred to as the “juvenile form of psychopathy” – in essence, children with CD are potential psychopaths.

We formed in response to the Parkland shooting because members of our affiliated support group, Parents of Children with Conduct Disorder (PCCD) saw their own children in each newly emerging report of Nikloas Cruz’s history. We finally had enough of screaming for help for our children and getting none. So, we took action and formed the Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths.

But seriously though. In plain English, what does any of that mean?

I want to bring up what I think is a huge issue within the already huge issue of CD and psychopathy. It pretty much makes zero sense unless you have been studying it for years. And even then, you have to really work to understand it.

I have been running a support group for parents of CD and only CD for nearly four years now. I read every book on the subject I can get my hands on, and in the end, though I understand it more than the average bear, I am still left with more questions than answers. Yes, the more you learn about something the more you see you need to learn, but the subject of CD/psychopathy is, in slang terms, redonkulous (more ridiculous than ridiculous).

There seems to be this weird divide in the community. The people who understand psychopaths don’t really treat them, and the people who treat them don’t really understand them. Meanwhile, people are suffering and no one is getting any better. This is something that takes years to treat.

But, kinda like a burst water main under your house, it’s also something we needed fixed yesterday.

Because CD, left unchecked, can turn into psychopathy, it is important to STOPP that progression. But how the heck do we do that anyway?

So, you want to understand psychopathy, huh?

In The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience by Dr. Kent Kiehl, Dr. Kiehl does an amazing job of being an engaging storyteller, making the information in the book accessible to the general public, and still getting his science on.

But that’s pretty rare, in my experience. Without Conscience: the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert Hare, creator of the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) was a little less accessible, but still digestible.

Beyond that, though? Some of these books are darn near impossible to follow.

And that’s not right.


YOU already know a psychopath – probably more than one!

This issue affects every single person in the world one way or another. Most estimates say 1 in 100 people is a psychopath. Everyone knows 100 people. At least. This is about which person you know is going to hurt people.

This issue affects everyone and most of the information out there is overwhelming and intensely scientific. If you are ever going to understand it you have to have an insane drive and want to devote years of your life to figuring it out, as I have. Most people are not going to do this. And I don’t blame them. This issue has become all-consuming to me. To the point where I literally wished the other day there was a “discover the psychopath” video game so I could relax, yet still be thinking about this stuff at the same time.

That is the level of commitment it takes to understand the information that is out there.

And that’s not right.

Because psychopathy affects everyone, everyone should be able to understand it without needing to spend years doing research and getting a degree in neuroscience to do it.

As I said, everyone knows 100 people. Which means everyone knows a psychopath. You will likely be harmed by one or be close to someone who is harmed by a psychopath at some point in your life. My guess is it will be multiple times, not just the once.

Psychopaths are not slathering murderers, as Hollywood and most of the news would have you believe. Some do kill, yes, but that number is very, very small.

More than likely one will con you out of some money, screw you over by telling lies about you, steal something from you, gaslight you (make you believe something different than what you saw with your own eyes), and unless you have read for years about psychopaths, you will likely never know what hit you. They are charming and seem normal at first. They will get people to take their side over yours. They will convince people they are the victim and turn people against you.

And they will do all of this easily, instinctively, like breathing.

Simply put, psychopaths are mean people who will hurt you or screw you over and not care. They are born this way and their brains are different than ours.

We are trying to stop psychopathy. Because psychopaths hurt people.

And the only way to stop psychopathy is to get it handled when these people are kids. But no one is doing that. These kids are considered “untreatable”, but that’s just because no one has been trained in how to treat them.

If you had a rare form of cancer, you would go to the place that treated that form or cancer. You wouldn’t go to your primary care physician and expect them to be able to treat this rare form of cancer. That would be dumb.

But that is the approach we take with CD. It takes specialized treatment by specially trained staff. This can’t be fixed by your local therapist, school “psychologist” (who are almost never actual psychologists), nor by anyone employed by your local school district. It just can’t. I’m sure they mean well, but they don’t understand the condition and aren’t equipped to deal with it.

I love my primary care physician. But I wouldn’t ask her to perform open heart surgery on me!

CD needs people who know how to treat it. It needs residential treatment centers where all the staff is trained in treating CD.

And we need all this more urgently than you think. There are tons of studies out there, all of which give conflicting information. I have seen many different studies citing roughly 4-5% of children, but one study I saw claims 6-16% of boys and 2-9% of girls have CD.

At the moment, the best model we have is Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center, which has amazing results. I don’t know if it’s the perfect answer, but it’s better than the nothing we’ve got now.

It will take years to develop these special centers. Which is why it is so urgent for us to act RIGHT NOW. In that span of time children with CD will grow up and become psychopaths. The earlier we can find these kids and get them treatment, the better it will be. For everyone.

In short, the Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths exists to stop psychopaths by getting them treatment when they are kids. Our endgame is NO MORE PSYCHOPATHS. At least one psychopath in your life will hurt you or screw you over leaving you bewildered as to what happened. Or they will do it to someone you love. Or both. Again, this will happen at least once in your life. Probably multiple times.

Understanding psychopathy is hard. I don’t expect everyone to do it. But as we continue our work here, I will do my best to explain the problems that individuals with psychopathy and children with CD pose. I will do my best to break down the issues of treatment (or lack thereof) in plain English.

I will do my best to explain everything you need to know in plain English.

If we need you to do something, to take an action, we’ll let you know what that is. If you would like to join us in our mission, send us a message and we’ll see how we can work together.

We are not just a group of parents. We are open to anyone. Anyone who would like to help us stop psychopathy before it begins is welcome to join us. Parents cannot do it alone. It takes a village.


2 thoughts on “STOPP – In the Name of Love

  1. How does one begin to find these children? How will they be helped? How can you know for sure they will be potential?


    • Hi Jessamyn,

      Those first two are the million dollar questions!

      First, we need better diagnostics and better-trained clinicians doing the diagnostics. Second, we need to erase the stigma with the diagnosis itself. Many clinicians will not even diagnose a young child with CD because they know it can eventually turn into psychopathy, and they don’t want to “label” these children. Most people think it is “untreatable”. I found out when my son was 15 that a diagnosing doctor who had seen him at age 9 knew he had CD, but just didn’t tell me because he didn’t think it would be helpful since you “can’t treat it”. I was looking for the wrong interventions for FIVE YEARS because of this! I have parents in my group who have had doctors tell them not to tell other people about the CD diagnosis because it means psychopath/sociopath and no one will touch these kids.

      So, first and foremost, we need to stop making the word psychopath a bad word. It’s not. Any more than any other medical condition.

      We are currently in touch with treatment providers working out how exactly to help our kids. This will be a long process. Even if we had the treatment model in hand today (which we don’t) it will still take years to set something like this up. But certainly, the first step in that process is to acknowledge that “difficult” to treat and “impossible” to treat is not the same thing.

      As for your last question, I’m not sure what you are asking. Would you mind clarifying your question?


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