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The Psychology Behind Mass Shootings

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Once we turn our intelligence inward, we come across two great insights. The first involves our understanding of the roles played in our psyche between aggression and passivity. (Read, " Our Messy Mix of Aggression and Passivity .") These two aspects of our psyche are in conflict with each other; the more dysfunctional or neurotic we are, the more intense the conflict is likely to be. Typically, people are aware of the painful symptoms of the conflict but not the conflict itself.

Second, we're inclined to recycle and replay, no matter how painful, whatever negative emotions are unresolved in our psyche. (Read, " Why Our Emotional Suffering Persists .") Inner passivity, a kind of existential self-doubt with which many of us identify, is one of these negative emotions. It causes troubled individuals to feel that aggression, including extravagant displays of it, is their only recourse.

Learning this knowledge makes us wiser and more astute. The troubled people who cross our path are also helped in unseen ways by our evolved nature.
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Peter Michaelson is an author, blogger, and psychotherapist in Plymouth, MI. He believes that better understanding of depth psychology reduces the fear, passivity, and denial of citizens, making us more capable of maintaining and growing our (more...)

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We either have to do some soul-searching when thes... by Peter Michaelson on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012 at 2:40:10 PM
You write, "As long as people go on believing that... by Don Smith on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 7:08:46 PM
Such truth! Thank-you!As the mother of four teenag... by Tsara Shelton on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 1:06:08 AM
I agree Peter.....yet would take it further. ... by Burl Hall on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 5:05:38 AM
That's a big question, Burl. Jung would have lots ... by Peter Michaelson on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 6:37:13 AM
Thanks, Peter...I actually didn't realize that reg... by Burl Hall on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:16:39 AM
             &n... by Theresa Paulfranz on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 8:39:12 AM
Freud named life "Eros" and death "Thanatos" But w... by Theresa Paulfranz on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 9:31:05 AM
You're on target Theresa.  Taking it further,... by Burl Hall on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:25:44 AM
When the wonderful energy of death-rebirth i... by Theresa Paulfranz on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 9:56:49 AM
I am a former Connecticut pistol permit holder. Wh... by Steven G. Erickson on Monday, Dec 31, 2012 at 12:53:51 PM