Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (3 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   6 comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

American Culture and the Psychology of Mass Shootings

By       Message Alan James Strachan       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...)  Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Interesting 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 1/18/13

Author 13611
- Advertisement -

How are we to understand the psychology of the gun violence that afflicts American society?

 

Peter Michaelson goes to great lengths to describe the aberrant psychology of an individual who would slaughter innocent strangers, in an article recently published by Buzzflash on the "The Psychology Behind Mass Shootings" [click here

 

- Advertisement -

What mainstream psychology ignores about mass murderers:

 

While such an analysis can provide important insights and is a necessary contribution to reducing such violence, it is at the same time extremely one-sided and unfortunately displays a bias that is typical of mainstream psychology. This is particularly evident when Michaelson writes, "our suffering is produced through inner conflict --we have nowhere to turn for relief but inward."

- Advertisement -

 

Imagine telling a child who is being sexually abused by his caregiver that his suffering is simply a result of inner conflict. Or explaining to victims of superstorm Sandy who are being denied aid by squabbling Republicans that they will just have to seek inner relief. Then try to convince African-Americans that the bigotry they have experienced the last 200 years is strictly a result of and must be addressed on the level of their individual psychology.

 

While it is true that, as Michaelson wrote, "We have to learn that our negative impressions, impulses, and emotions are not  caused exclusively by external factors, even when life is difficult and seems unfair" so that we will learn to "stop projecting on to others," it also is true that external factors have a profound influence on our inner psychology. Michelson's bias leads him to pathologize rampage shooters at length, but apart from a few remarks about gun control he says next to nothing about our society that glorifies, propagates and turns a blind eye to violence.

 

In an interview, psychologist James Hillman remarked:

- Advertisement -

 

I am attacking the theories of psychotherapy. . . . It makes every problem a subjective, inner problem. And that's not where the problems come from. They come from the environment, the cities, the economy, the racism. They come from architecture, school systems, capitalism, exploitation. They come from many places that psychotherapy does not address. Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. What I'm trying to say is that, if a kid is having trouble or is discouraged, the problem is not just inside the kid; it's also in the system, the society.   

 

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 2   Interesting 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Alan James Strachan, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, author and teacher, and Janet Coster, M.A., M.A., is a transpersonal counselor, spiritual director and workshop leader. This article is adapted from their book-in-progress, America on the Couch: (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

American Culture and the Psychology of Mass Shootings

MCCAIN TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT SARAH PALIN, BUT DID ANYBODY NOTICE?

Star Trek and the NSA

Occupying Democracy: A Moral Revolution for Social Justice