Understanding The Psychology Behind Fixated Individuals

Philip Grindell
Written by Philip Grindell
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Seminar presented at the 6th Annual Executive Security and Close Protection Technology Forum on 28/01/2021

This seminar discusses the psychology of fixated persons, from a security and threat perspective….

The reason that this is such an important subject, and one that in my opinion it a must for anyone involved in the business of protecting others, is because fixated persons pose the greatest threat to not just the person being protected, but to those doing the protecting!

That said, what we know is that physical protection measures alone, be they human or technical, will not stop a fixated person committed to harming their target.

Research has shown that physical protection measures alone have not proved to be a sufficient defense against the fixated (Mullen, James, et al., 2009)

People who pursue the famous pose a greater risk of death or serious injury to their targets than do terrorist groups or criminals (James, et al., 2007)

Watch this short seminar here:

For the purpose of this seminar, we describe fixation as follows;

An increased pathological preoccupation with either a person or an ideology or cause

When that fixation then consumes your every waking moment and becomes obsessive, it becomes pathological and is often linked to stalking behaviour.

From a security perspective this can be difficult to identify, however an unnatural volume of interest may be an indicator.

One of the risks attached to such fixation is the need for close proximity and when this is frustrated it can metamorphise into strong emotions of anger and emotionally hijacks their lives

The impact of failing to manage, or mismanaging these threats ranges from serious violence and death to embarrassment and reputational harm.

It is vital the those tasked with protecting high profile and the UHNW not only understand the threats they pose, but recognise that that threat can be targeted against them as well as their principal.

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