Dr. Annette Ermshar Publications

Forensic Psychology: Preparing Female Clinicians for Challenging Offenders

Annette L. Ermshar & Adrienne M. Meier

Women & Therapy, Volume 37, Issue 1-2, 2014

February 24, 2014


Preparing female clinicians for the emotional and psychological demands of forensic work with violent and/or sexual offenders is imperative. Stereotypical gender scripts, such as the expectation that females must empathize with victims, result in stigmatization of female clinicians. Biases that women are less capable of handling such offenders contribute to increased difficulties within the field. Preparing female trainees for counter transferential issues, de-feminization, and the potential for vicarious traumatization will serve to help female clinicians continue to thrive in the field of forensic evaluation and treatment; thereby benefitting treatment and the field in general.

Stalking as paranoid attachment: A typological and dynamic model

John S. Wilson, PhD, Annette L. Ermshar & Robert K. Welsh

Attachment & Human Development, Volume 8 Issue 2



Stalking encompasses a wide range of behavioral patterns, risk factors, interpersonal dynamics, and dangerousness. To account for these diverse phenomena, we propose that stalking behavior is best conceptualized by a dynamic interaction of attachment styles and psychodynamic phenomena. This paper articulates a model that explains stalking behavior within the framework of attachment theory. Four prototypical configurations of stalkers and their victims are developed. Each configuration is discussed in terms of a pattern of internal representations, affective constellations, combinations of aggression and narcissism, and potential for future violence. The four configurations proposed here are maintained through stalkers’ over ideational linkage fantasies and projective identifications, which range from shame-prone and needy idealization to malevolent torment of the victim. Our model arrays erotomanic, jealous, and persecutory attachments along a continuum of increasingly paranoid and pathological identifications. We argue that these prototypical attachment configurations provide a theoretically driven means of differentiating phases of stalking, and as such provide useful leads in the empirical study and clinical assessment, treatment, and management of stalkers.


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