Violence and Aggression Articles

Responsibility in Relationships: Stop Playing the Blame Game

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

What Role do Sibling Struggles Play in Adult Relationships?

I often find it valuable to take commonplace sayings, or “rules” and, rather than just accept them at face value, “take them for a ride” to see if they ring true.

Most of us have heard the saying, “Others only treat you the way you allow them to.” The hard part about owning this belief is that we have to face the possibility that we are truly responsible for our relationships.

While it is my experience that this is true, it is also my experience that most of us would far rather rely on our “default” setting of blame. I recently had a situation that brought this saying into the realm of truth for me.

Military, Media Quick to Report Fort Hood Shooter’s Mental Health Status

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Military, Media Quick to Report Fort Hood Shooter's Mental Health StatusThere’s no way to stop the rare mass shootings that occur in the United States. You may not like it, but it’s a fact no amount of laws or background checks will ever fix.

Every time a new shooting occurs, it’s a tragedy. No words can begin to describe the senseless violence of a mass shooting.

But it’s even more of a tragedy when the media — with the help of the military, in this case — is quick to report that an alleged suspect in such shootings was seeking mental health treatment for a concern. Especially when it ended up having nothing to do with the shootings.

A Mindful Practice to Fully Feel Your Anger

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

A Mindful Practice to Fully Feel Your AngerEarly in her practice, psychotherapist Andrea Brandt, Ph.D, M.F.T, found that the clients she was seeing were able to talk about their anger. They used popular techniques such as “I” statements. They were able to articulate when they felt angry.

And, yet, their anger wasn’t dissipating. Communicating their anger wasn’t the problem. The problem was their inability to fully feel that anger.

Fearful & Frozen: Why Victims Don’t Act to Stop Bullying

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Fearful And Frozen: Why Victims Don’t Act to Stop BullyingOn January 1, 2014 in Australia, anti-bullying legislation was introduced. Workers now can apply to to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for an order to stop the bullying. Once an application has been received, the FWC has two weeks to investigate the complaint.

Legislators expected an overwhelming demand: Bullying affects over 30 percent — more than 3 million — Australian workers and costs the economy between $6 billion and $36 billion dollars a year.

It seemed reasonable to expect that applications should have numbered in the thousands by now when results from a parliamentary inquiry in 2012-13 showed that workers’ most desired outcome was that they just wanted the bullying to stop.

However, only 44 applications have been received so far in 2014, six of which were withdrawn. Why?

Bullying at Work: Workplace Mobbing is on the Rise

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Bullying at Work: Workplace Mobbing is on the RiseMobbing is “bullying on steroids,” a horrifying new trend whereby a bully enlists co-workers to collude in a relentless campaign of psychological terror against a hapless target.

Targets are usually anyone who is “different” from the organizational norm. Usually victims are competent, educated, resilient, outspoken, challenge the status quo, are more empathic or attractive and tend to be women, aged 32 to 55. Targets also can be racially different or part of a minority group.

The target receives ridicule, humiliation, and eventually, removal from the workplace. It leaves the victim reeling with no idea what happened or why. It takes away a person’s safety in the world, dignity, identity and belonging and damages his or her mental and physical health. The effects also radiate outward toward the target’s partner, family, friends and even community.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Let’s ‘Assist’ Patients By Forcing Them

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Let's 'Assist' Patients By Forcing ThemAssisted outpatient treatment (AOT) is a marketing term for involuntary commitment, but in an outpatient setting. AOT is like putting lipstick on a pig and calling her a princess. Experts on AOT sometimes like to pretend AOT is something different than forced treatment:

“Forcing [a person] to take medication is assisting him to make the choice we think he would make if he had a normally functioning brain.”
~ E. Fuller Torrey, MD & Jonathan Stanley, JD

Let’s delve into the twisted logic here of assisted outpatient treatment.

Improved Mental Health Treatment Won’t Impact Mass Shootings or School Killings

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Improved Mental Health Treatment Won't Impact Mass Shootings or School KillingsSome well-meaning folks believe that all we need is “better mental health treatment,” and suddenly we will no longer see school shootings or mass murders. While better access to mental health treatment will help society in the long-run for numerous reasons, it will make little difference for these rare mass shooting events.

Contrary to popular belief (and media hype), mass shootings are not on the rise. And on the face of it, it is fairly ridiculous to focus so much “preventative attention” on something that accounts for less than one percent of murders in the U.S. in any given year.

We’re driven to do so for emotional reasons, not logical ones. But even if you employ emotion as the rationale for improving society’s access to treatment for mental illness, will that matter one whit?

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There’s a Few Problems

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There's a Few ProblemsFrom 2009 until 2013, states have cut more than $4.35 billion from mental health funding for treatment and related services for those most in need in America. Yes, you read that right — $4.35 billion. In tough times, states always turn to cutting social services first.

The message states seem to be sending is, “Hey, we know you’re already poor, so if we cut services to you, well, how much worse could your life be?”

So it comes as a relief — well, a little relief — that the White House announced the rejiggering of some budgets to free up $100 million in funding of mental health services to states.

Is this enough of a response — or even the right response — to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre?

Hey Canadians! The RCMP Knows When You Are Suicidal — And Tells the U.S.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Hey Canadians! The RCMP Knows When You Are Suicidal -- And Tells the U.S.Last week, I wrote about how Canadian Ellen Richardson, who suffers from bouts of depression, was barred from entering the U.S. One of the outstanding question raised about that story was how U.S. customs agents were accessing Canadians’ suicide attempts and hospitalization records. A senior official for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency told me that they only have access to criminal and police databases, from a mutual sharing arrangement with Canada.

Well, it appears the Canadian RCMP are the ones to blame. Because for years now, the RCMP has been putting information about Canadians who attempt or even just threaten suicide into a national law enforcement database called the CPIC. Which is then shared with U.S. customs and law enforcement agencies.

Why would the RCMP want to keep track of those who threaten suicide in a law enforcement database? Is this just another example of the police discriminating against people with mental illness?

How to Spot a Psychopath

Friday, December 6th, 2013

How to Spot a PsychopathI love finding–or inventing–ways to categorize people. I agree with philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who observed, “Every classification throws light on something.”

I’ve devised several of these, and of the ones I’ve come up with myself, my favorites are the Abstainer/Moderator distinction and the four Rubin Tendencies.

Because of this interest, I was intrigued to come across the Psychopathic Personality Inventory, a personality test for traits  associated with psychopathy (link to actual quiz below).

I think that we can all agree that one thing that does not contribute to a happy life is a relationship with a psychopath. But what traits are associated with psychopaths?

10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Cyberbullying

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent CyberbullyingThe brave new world of technology has spawned a monster: the cyberbully. According to the website stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that uses electronic methods such as cell phones and computers. It can include hurtful text messages and photos, among others. Most children are aware of cyberbullying. Thanks to the efforts of many school districts in America, most parents are as well.

In just one example of the pain it can cause, a 12-year-old girl in Florida leapt to her death in September 2013 after having been cyberbullied by two girls, one 12 and the other 14.

Despite the conveniences of modern technology, it seems also to have a sinister side. The statistics on cyberbullying are increasingly alarming.

Mommy Not-So-Dearest: My Evil Mom

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Mommy Not-So-Dearest: My Evil MomWho would believe my 92-year-old mother would like nothing better than to outlive me? That four years ago, at 88, she tried to turn me into roadkill?

I’d heard the hiss of brakes as I got out of the car in front of the post office. There she was, behind the wheel of her custom-made Cadillac — so close, her eyes alive with hate.

When we saw that look as kids, we tried to will ourselves to stop breathing — so terribly ashamed we had been born. This time she told me if she had hit me, she would not have been held responsible because I’d opened my door into traffic. This was confirmed by my lawyer cousin. “She may be creepy,” he said, “but she’s got her facts straight.”

Not even our extended family can wrap their minds around just how creepy she is, at least not all of the time. It was also my plan at the time to pretend this never happened. But then a bit later my mother said, “You know, Jane, if I really want to run you over, I won’t miss.”

Recent Comments
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