Will has trouble developing meaningful and appropriate relationships with adults and women. His only friends are among a group of young men his own age who cannot begin to compete with his intelligence. He cannot master his primitive emotions. For example, if he has a disagreement with someone or if he dislikes them, he will assault them either verbally or physically. He has no empathy for people outside his close group of friends. Will does not integrate his intelligence and his interest in reading with relationships, either personal relationships or work relationships. The reading gives him a sense of mastery and a way to distance himself from people. He uses intellectual tasks to self-soothe
The scene in which Sean presses onto Will the notion that "it is not your fault" has a serious impact on Will and is a breakthrough in his therapy. Why is this? Suggested Response: Will, as many victims of abuse, somehow feels that he must have done something to deserve such treatment. Sean is assuring Will that the abuse he faced as a child was solely the consequence of severe disorder on the part of his foster parents and had nothing to do with the boy he used to be or the man he is now.
If the adults that a child must rely upon don't take care of the child or if they beat the child and violate the child's boundaries, what message does that send to the child? Suggested Response: It tells the child that he or she is not worth caring for and that others cannot be trusted. It teaches the child that only the child him or herself can be relied upon to satisfy the child's needs. It does not permit the child to develop a sense of self-worth. The child, focused on meeting his or her own needs, cannot acquire the ability to feel empathy for others on a very basic level.
He would not have been able to have a loving relationship with a woman
He would have continued to use reading and his intelligence to give him a sense of mastery and control to insulate...