Dr. Katherine Porterfield
“Mental illness can be a lifelong condition, but it also is – we have abundant evidence of that, that ongoing treatment, identification of where the problem areas are and real support works and that people do get well.”
Clinical instructor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and senior psychologist at Belleview NYU program for survivors of torture
Dr. Porterfield has worked with Abdulrahman since January 2017.
Dr. Porterfield, Dr. Khadivi and Dr. Mariani all concluded that Abdulrahman had mitigating factors which contributed to his involvement in the charges laid against him but that his mental health responded well to sustained treatment as mentioned in their medical reports.
Along with other professional doctors, Dr. Porterfield found Abdulrahman’s most consistent tendency was to fixate compulsively on certain topics. She referred to it as ‘looping’: when the brain circles back to an idea repeatedly, fulfilling a part of one’s cognitive thinking. Dr. Porterfield recognized the looping pattern in Abdulrahman’s life which began with “the solar system, soccer, computers, and then sadly, sadly, and tragically, drugs — introduced to him when he was 14 , and which took hold.”
Dr. Porterfield mentioned 6 factors that were interrelated and led to the worsening of Abdulrahman’s poor functioning:
- Organic brain dysfunction (neurocognitive deficits)
- Mood instability and thought disorder
- Social isolation and immaturity,
- Suicidality and self-destructiveness, and
- Family dynamics.
- Addiction treatment
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Psychiatric care and follow-up
- Educational and vocational training, and
- Spiritual support and guidance.
In regards to treatment, Dr. Porterfield testified in the sentencing after Judge Berman was skeptical of Abdulrahman’s prognosis that “mental illness can be a lifelong condition, but it also is – we have abundant evidence of that, that ongoing treatment, identification of where the problem areas are and real support works and that people do get well.” She also stated that Abdulrahman is not in denial of his condition and that she was impressed with the services provided by Canadian corrections when she worked in one of their facilities.
Next: Dr. Ali Khadivi Assessment
Contact Us or Subscribe for Updates
"What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.
This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate."