Grief Counselor: Casey's Party Behavior Typical - Page 7
Under cross-examination, Ashton asked what emotions could be seen during grieving following a traumatic loss. “Sad, happy and mad” are the three emotions I typically see, said Karioth, who said she has seen patients “docked” at all emotional levels.
When asked by Ashton what behaviors were inconsistent with grief, Karioth stated that without being able to separate out pathological grief responses vice healthy responses, she could not answer his question properly.
Ashton asked Karioth if she knew who she would be testifying about, to which Karioth responded that she didn’t know very much at all about Anthony, and had been living in London and did not recall any coverage of the Anthony case there. Karioth stated that she had done no research on Anthony prior to arriving to today’s courtroom session.
Describing behavior as “magical thinking,” some people might think their parent was away, vice dead. They might take a trip to see their dead father.
Ashton provided his own hypothetical situation, of a moder whose child dies, who doesn’t tell anyone the child has died, rents a movie, spends the night, and even has sex with her boyfriend. Over the next thirty days she tells people different stories about where the child is, including with a fictional baby sitter, or with her grandmother.
Ashton went on to weave a hypothetical, of a woman who juggled multiple stories to multiple people, showing a higher order of thought vice simple delusional behavior. Ashton then asked if this type of behavior was consistent with denial in a grieving mother.
“I would agree that this is a young woman in crisis, who is unable to figure out to make things better, I may call that grief because grief makes people do very unusual things,” replied Karioth, adding “I would think we would need to get that person some help.” Karioth went to to say that a woman exhibiting Casey’s demeanor following the death of a child was typical of what she called “magical thinking,” and that people can actually try to juggle multiple stories if it allowed them to continue denying the facts to themselves.
Ashton then asked Karioth to consider a hypothetical “that mother deliberately killed the child,” to which Casey Anthony shot Ashton a hard glare, and Sims immediately objected.
When asked if denial was also an effective coping method for guilt, Karioth agreed, adding “guilt and shame,” especially if these are part of a person’s upbringing in handling when things go badly. When asked by Ashton if compartmentalization of emotion can be done by someone after committing an “unspeakable act,” Karioth stated “often they haven’t even done the thing, and feel shameful about another event.”Continued on the next page