10/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Just Listen: Jaycee Lee Dugard

I was on Entertainment Tonight Wednesday, September 2 at 7 PM to discuss Jaycee Dugard and the possible effect her captivity has had on her and on her children.

What would it be like to do a transmission overhaul in your car while you are driving and while you are switching from one terrain to another?

If you were to try it I think you would keep as many things the same as you can including the engine, the tires, the frame, the electrical system. That's because you would want to keep the number of variables to a minumum.

What does this have to do with Jaycee Dugard?

I am using a metaphor that men might understand, because all men normally would care about in the Jaycee Dugard case is punishing and getting even with the Garridos as opposed to helping Jaycee get back to a normal life.

A transmission is to a car, what a personality is to a person. When Jaycee went from the relatively safe environment of her home to suddenly being in captivity and living essentially in an expanded cage with a few passes into the outside world, supervised by the Garridos, her personality switched from moving forward in life to having to deal with the threat of being with a crazy person.

One of those adaptations was to experience the Stockholm Syndrome (of captors bonding with their captors vs. living in constant terror to make captivity survivable).

Now she has just as suddenly been released back into a "free" life (although I don't know how free she's feeling with the "eyes of the world and media" constantly on her). This represents a huge jolt to her personality (or for you guys, her transmission).

Just as you would try to keep as many things the same in your car if you were overhauling its transmission on the fly, as many of Jaycee's healthy routines should be kept the same as she undertakes adapting her personality from living in captivity to living in freedom.

For Jaycee's personality to make that change, the key is not what people tell her, but how they will create a safe place that will enable her to talk through the horrors of captivity, about what's going on deep inside that may be keeping her psyche and her future prisoner.

Read more about this at: What's in Store for Jaycee Dugard

If you want to become a listener who helps others to open up to you, check out my about to be published book: "Just Listen" Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone(AMACOM, Sept. 15, 2009)

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