Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Medical Professionals: Sensitivity Indicators and the Word, "No"

It is always important to view sensitivity indicators as just such:  an indication of sensitivity to the subject, at this point of the statement. It is the focus of the interview and a pause to allow the subject to answer, may be the key to opening the door of information.

It may indicate deception, but it may not. This is why context is important.

When someone is truthful, but feels he is not being believed, his language will likely include sensitivity indicators.

When someone feels a need for emphasis, it may also show.

"I am so over him!" is different than "I am over him."

The former has emotion connected to it, while the latter is plain language, and strong.  If "he" were to attempt to get her back, the first statement, with emotion, shows a chance, while the second, "I am over him" is stronger, and more confident. It does not mean that the first, "I am so over him" indicates willingness on her part to take him back; it is just not as strong as the latter.

What has caused the sensitivity?

Herein lies a key for therapists and counselors and clergy with training in Statement Analysis:  using questions to uncover the cause of sensitivity.

"I am so over him!" 

Possibilities to explore:

a.  Have you been "over him" before?
b.  Is someone (family, perhaps) trying to persuade you?
c.  Are you trying to persuade yourself?
d.  Have you given him "second chances"?
e.  Have you had internal debate?
f.  Has he exhibited a pattern of unacceptable behavior?
g.  unknown uncovered through appropriate questions.

We have seen little hints within language that indicate various changes in reality, and it is fascinating to "know" what one is 'really thinking' within the words.

In training of medical professionals, an intake nurse now asks a series of questions and is responsible for writing down the exact answers.

1.  Do you drink alcohol?
2.  How many drinks per week?
3.  Do you smoke?

and you can see the basic screening taking place. This particular facility has now added general screening for depression, STD risk, and a new one:  Domestic Violence.

4.  Are you a victim of Domestic Violence?  (DV)

The precise answer is then recorded (in this case, entered into a computer).  The nurses were trained to type in and count every word after the word "no" for sensitivity indication.

The training specifically teaches to pause after this question.


Why not pause after each question?

There should be a pause after each question, but when a nurse, as a trained professional, senses that a patient may be a victim of DV, the pause should be an uncomfortable pause in time, so long, in fact, (in seconds) that it has an impolite feel to it.  This is the same that detectives should use when:

they have the written statement analyzed before them, and know the sensitive area;
or when the detective has advanced enough in Analytical Interviewing that he is able to discern the sensitivity in the language, as it passes by.  This is "Skilled Listening", something that comes to those who practice, repeatedly, the training.

Some answers we explored to

"Are you a victim of Domestic Violence?"

a.  No

This is a "yes or no" question that does not provoke stress for lying; "yes or no" questions are easy to lie to.  By itself, it could go either way.  If the subject looks back on his "no" and answer and says, with it in mind, "I told the truth", it is, percentage wise, very likely to be true.

b.  "No, no...." shows an increase in sensitivity, as the word "no" is repeated.

c.  "No, no, hey, why do you ask?" is important.  It could be anything from projection, down to simple curiosity.

d.  "oh God!  Of course not!"

This sensitivity could be due to:

*Not expecting a nurse to ask this question in a medical appointment
*Being an actual Domestic Violence victim herself
*Mother, sister, or very close friend of a D/V victim in which the subject has had a recent conversation about D/V in general.

One nurse reported that since the questionnaire was put in place, only one male has come forward to acknowledge D/V.  She stated that she suspected a few others, (intuitively so, as she was a good listener, and took to training with ease) because the males went beyond the word "no."  The training was more of a confirmation of her skill, than a new learning item.

The "uncomfortable pause" should be saved and utilized sparingly.  If every question has the pause, there is no 'additional effect' upon the subject.  This element of being 'rude' or 'uncomfortable' is also contextual.  If the nurse looks away, using the pause time to type, it will not put the subject under a 'burden' of civility to continue the answer.

There must be an expectation of more information.

If you sense there is more, but the subject appears reluctant, pause a moment and ask, "Is there anything you wish to tell me?"

The subject  may say:

a.  "no"
b.  "No, I am not a victim of Domestic Violence" (very strong and likely to be true)
c.  "well..." (and the door opens).

Use, "I'm listening" in a polite and perhaps, quieter tone, signaling to the subject that you know that is likely not easy to say, and that you are giving 'reverence' by a hushed tone.  It is 'different' or 'special' from the other questions.

Nurses agreed:  Do not ask the questions like a machine, where it is easy to 'blow through the questions" quickly.  Pressed for time, understanding the dynamics and repercussions of D/V is important and will help the medical professional in serving clients.


I have noted a number of comments regarding deception within relationships. Although some may use the comments section deceptively or for an agenda, seeking to engage others, there are also those who ask genuine questions about discerning deception within relationships     I will address this separately in an article.


Katprint said...

I think sometimes the repetition of the question can cause sensitivity. I don't smoke, I have never smoked, and I don't intend to start smoking, yet literally every time I go for any type of appointment -- including routine vaccinations like the flu shot -- the nurse asks me if I smoke. Last time I laughed and said, "Still no." I'm with Kaiser, which lets you make appointments online, check your vital statistics online, etc. I noticed that my medical record online says, "Tobacco Use: Unknown." So, I guess they'll keep asking and getting the same answer.

GetThem said...

Good info.

I remember a visit last summer to ER when my knee locked up. I remember being shocked that I was asked if their was DV. I was shocked because I had never heard that question asked before and also because there is no DV in our household and to even consider it seemed crazy. I panicked because I thought "oh jeez, I'm here for help, am I going to get sidetracked here for something that isn't happening? Just fix me!!" But they took my answer and that was it. My knee ended up being arthritis I found out a couple days later, but it was a bizarre experience that I remembered when I read your post.

Peter Hyatt said...

Get Them

your response is what I hope people will embrace. Sensitivity does not always mean deception and examples help.

thank you,


Peter Hyatt said...


another good example of sensitivity explained without deception.

I hope this is sinking in.

john said...


How not to ask questions!

Quba Islamic Center Fire: Homeless Man Charged With Arson

A homeless man has been arrested for allegedly setting a fire that destroyed a building used by a Houston Islamic organization, authorities told NBC affiliate KPRC. Daryl Ferguson, 55, reportedly admitted to torching a building occupied by the Quba Islamic Center. He has been charged with arson. But the motive — whether the Friday morning blaze was lit because the building was a place of Muslim worship, or for some other reason —remains unknown.

Authorities won't comment on the motive. As Ferguson left a police station in handcuffs Monday night, a reporter asked him, "Were you just trying to stay warm?" Ferguson replied, "Yes, sir." The Houston Chronicle quoted him as saying, "It was an accident." Ahsan Zahid, an assistant imam at Quba who recognized Ferguson as someone who hung around the property, said he believed the destruction could have been an accident. "If that's what it turns out to be, we'll be happier than if it was a hate crime," Zahid said.

Investigators told KPRC that Ferguson came to them voluntarily after he was mentioned as a suspect. According to Harris County Court records, Ferguson has been arrested more than 40 times for crimes ranging from trespassing and burglary to credit card abuse and DWI, KPRC reported.


john said...


Coroner Identifies 3-Year-Old Girl Found Dead.

TROTWOOD -- The Montgomery County Coroner's Office has identified the 3-year-old girl found dead Saturday by her mother.

Police say Tristan Carlton's mother returned home and found her daughter stiff and unresponsive.

The coroner's office said the cause and manner of death are pending.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2015: Trotwood Police Investigate Toddler's 'Suspicious' Death

TROTWOOD -- Police are investigating the suspicious death of a toddler.

A mother reportedly returned home Saturday, Feb. 14, to a mother's worse nightmare - her 3-year-old little girl not breathing.

Trotwood Police responded the home in the 800 block of Broad Oak at 4:30 p.m., after the woman returned home from shopping and found her daughter unresponsive in a bedroom.

"CPR is not going to help her. I've been a a nurse for over 13 years. CPR ain't going to help right now. I just got home. She is mottled. Her feet are ash white. She is stiff," the unidentified mother can be heard saying in the 911 call.

Police say the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbor Clark Brunson recalls the horrifying scene on Saturday; flashing lights of the police and fire department and finally the coroner van at midnight.

"It's heartbreaking. My heart is heavy. To see them come and go and then to just see the still, the quiet," Brunson explained. "That's hard to deal with. I'm a father of two, my kids are older now and I can't even fathom losing a child, let alone a toddler."

Police say it's still unclear what caused the little girl's death.

On Saturday, the girl's 20-year-old half brother was arrested for an unrelated warrant.

Police are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.


Buckley said...

If media is quoting 911 call, should that imply it's publicly released?

john said...

Hi Buckley,

the text above is all they have released. In the link above is the audio of said text.

Anonymous said...

It takes 3 to 4 hours for rigor to set depending on the ambient temperature. So a woman left he 3 year old alone for at least 3 hours?

Sheesh. I guess someone else may have been watching her and didn't check on her for several hours but still. . .

KatONine said...

So, a friend and I were discussing SA the other day and she asked a very interesting question that I couldn't answer save for a very brief "dunno" so I bring it to those who do.

"Would SA work on someone who is a deaf-mute and uses ASL as their only means of communication? Do they need a special set of rules? Does the rules that apply to the spoken word apply to the signed word?"

john said...


EXCLUSIVE: Bobbi Kristina was 'high on the Xanax she had abused for years and suicidal' when she was found face-down in bath, ex-boyfriend who was still a confidante claims

Zach Jafarzedeh was her boyfriend when they were both teenagers but remained close to Bobbi Kristina
Ex is first person in her inner circle to open up after she was found face down in bathtub at Roswell, Georgia, home more than two weeks ago
He tells Daily Mail Online how she had abused Xanax from the age of 16 but had given up on cocaine
Her relationship with Nick Gordon, who she called her husband, had been stormy but he does not believe he harmed her

Fears she was suicidal but may have fallen asleep in bath because of the 'black-out' effect of Xanax
Was 'depressed' about a fight days earlier with Gordon
Reveals that the other man who found her - Max Lomas - was also an ex-boyfriend

Read more:


Anon said...

That is great. Yeah nurses should really keep their antennae up for male victims of domestic violence. Im sure there are a lot of women kicking men's asses, giving them black eyes, raping them, and causing them to cower in fear. As victim of domestic violence myself, it is virtually impossible for a woman to dominate a man, put him in fear. Maybe if a man was handicapped or in a wheelchair or something but otherwise how is it even possible? Men are MUCH stronger than women, oftentimes probably 10 times stronger or more to where a man can throw a woman around like a ragdoll and the woman they are beating is not strong enough to even push them an inch.

tania cadogan said...

Anon February 18, 2015 at 12:30 AM

There are many male victims of domestic violence, it isn't publicized though.

Women as the perceived weaker sex it is expected will be victims of DV, men as the stronger sex are not perceived to be susceptible to DV.

Male victims of DV tend to keep it quiet, it is shameful, it is kept hidden away.
It is seen to be unmanly if you are beaten up by a woman, it is seen as a joke to be beaten up by a woman, or vebally bullied (henpecked)
For many the abuse is ongoing and escalates since they rarely hit back (a man never hits a woman instilled in men since birth)

38% of dv victims are male.
Male DV is the unspoken dirty little secret.
There are 72 bed spaces in refuges in the UK for men. 44 of these spaces can be used by women 18 of these spaces are exclusively for gay men that leaves 10 dedicated male refuge beds in the UK for men. There are 7,500 spaces dedicated to female victims

It is not virtually impossible for a woman to dominate a man.
You presume her to be weaker than a man, this is not the case, anger or rage can give someone a massive boost in strength, there are ample weapons for a woman to use in a house, she is also armed with teeth and nails.
For some men, they find the violence escalates as the woman menstruates, goes though pregnancy or the menopause.
It is caused by her hormones.
For others it is insecurity about herself, her looks, her children, for others it can be down to jealousy or any number of reasons.

A woman is more likely to be believed than a man should she claim he attacked her when she attacked him and he defended himself by restraining her or pushing her away.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Ive been attacked by my partner who is male. The strength disparity of men is HUGE. Like I said men are so much stronger nevermind bigger they can throw a woman around like a ragdoll whereas, ask a man, any man sometime, if you can push him just to see if you are strong enough to even move him an inch. You wont be. A man however can send a wiman flying into walls pushing her around. A man can easily block a woman's punch if there are really tons of Mohammed Ali women out thete and grab her arm . It's just not possible. The man could just walk out of the house wheress a man can easily trap a woman in the house. I think it's easy for people to say "oh women can beat up men" because fortunately they have nevet been on the receiving end of an assault by a man to see first hand how much stronger they are, and to feel it. Gtanted, gay men can be beat up ny their partner and yes I do believe this could be very shameful for the male victim.

Katprint said...

Anon, one person being bigger/stronger than the other is not the only factor in domestic violence. Unlike dogs or chickens who naturally establish a "pecking order" based on strength/aggression, the vast majority of big, strong men do not abuse smaller, weaker women or children. IMO psychological control is a much bigger factor. Some extremely aggressive women DO abuse men. Abuse victims -- whether men, women or children -- often allow themselves to be convinced that they "deserved" it or that they have no alternative to their situation. This is often why they don't immediately call the police to report the attack like they would do if their attacker was a stranger.

Also, statistically there is as much abuse in same-sex couples as in heterosexual couples. I practice law in the San Francisco Bay area and I have personally represented gay men seeking domestic violence restraining orders against their male partner.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been physically abused by a grown man? If you havent, and I hope you havent, you wouldnt feel the way you do, and saying it has nothing to do with strength literally makes a mockery out of women who are being dominated by the actual strength of a man. To say strength doesnt matter means that my experience of domestic violence doesnt matter cause it has nothing to do with physical strength. Tell that to as woman being thrown across a room. It has nothing to do with strength. Tell that to a woman being held down and raped by her psrtner. "It has nothing to do with strength sweetie." It's such a strange thing to not understand how strong men are. My son is 20. If he ever claimed to be physically abused by a female partner, no I would not believe him! He 's been stronger than me since he was probably 12. It's so stupid to think a man can be physically battered by a woman. It doesnt make any sense and it's an insult to women being physically raped and beaten by men who are stronger. Think what you want. I just experience it and have to hear someone say something like Tania said with "oh women can get rushes of energy from anger that can lead them to overpower a man. Reallu? You dont yhink women being beaten are angry and adrenaline doesnt kick in yet they're still overpowered by the man? I love my son but if he ever claimed he was being physically dominated and beaten by a female partner I would laugh, because it's impossible.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what makes abusers the lowly cowards they are. They pick on people who are weaker and smaller and dont have a chance against them. I have taught my son any man who hits, beats on or picks on a woman is more of a girl than a guy wearing a dress, because at least it takes courage for a guy to walk around wearing a dress. I wanted him to understand how unmasculine abusive men are abd what cowards they are. And yes as I had said a gay man can be abused by his male partner. Some men are stronger even much stronger than another man, and my heart goes out to gay abused men. Their gay abuser is a scumbag coward like any other straight abuser.

Katprint said...

Anon, if you read what I wrote, I didn't say "it has nothing to do with strength" nor did I say that "strength doesn't matter. What I said was "one person being bigger/stronger than the other is NOT THE ONLY FACTOR." It is not "impossible" for a man to be the victim of domestic violence by a woman, same as it is not impossible for a larger person to be beaten up by a smaller person. That you personally have not observed it as part of your life experiences does not mean that it cannot happen.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in middle class suburban stereotypes men are bigger. In the hood and the sticks there are some big ass mean women. I wouldn't want to run into Honey a Boo Boos mom or Tammy Moorer in a dark alley (or parking area)