Psychological Self-Help

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came to realize he was on the wrong side? There is so much we still don’t
know about hatred and overcoming it. 
Anger researchers have estimated that about 5% of our population has an
anger control problem. There is even a new diagnosis, Intermittent Explosive
Disorder, that includes “road rage” and “hockey dads,” as well as some “PMS
Moms.” This impulse-control problem is very common at a young age,
starting with the “terrible twos.” During childhood, boys are more aggressive
and more frequently irritable than girls but this generally declines during
childhood. Irritation again rises in the 20’s and 30’s and then there are
slightly more angry women than men. At 30-years-of-age, singles are angrier
than those with partners (Flouri, E. "Anger, Irritability, and Hostility in
Children and Adults," published by the Economic & Social Research Council in
"Seven Deadly Sins: A New Look at Society Through an Old Lens."). Having
high hostility in college and experiencing increased anger from college to
midlife predicts many high health and social risks. At any age, threaten any
man’s masculinity and he will become more hostile (Willer, R., Cornell
University, presentation at American Sociological Association meeting, 2005).
Children and teens who view violent videos and video games (73% of these
games reward violent choices) exhibit more violent behavior, have more
violent fantasies, and see themselves as more aggressive than non-viewers,
according to Dr. Kevin Kieffer at St. Leo University in Florida. At least these
findings hold for the short-term effects but there are still some doubts about
the long-term effects on aggressive behavior. The American Psychological
Association has adopted a resolution calling for less violent content in such
What would we do if science learned how to measure traits of Junior High and
High School students that would enable the student, or the student’s parents,
or maybe a trusted therapist to predict the extent of violence likely in their
love lives before they get to be 30-years-old? Such a finding has been
reported. Lehrer, Buka, Gortmaker, and Shrier (2006) reported a moderately
strong tendency for adolescent girls who report having moderately more
depressive symptomatology during the previous week to have a considerably
higher risk of experiencing partner violence 5 years later. Do we live in a
society which would try to prevent the predicted violence? Such predictions
and Psycho-Social educational programs for dealing with depression and
violence may not be too far away.
Emotional rumination vs. thoughtful reflection
Most therapists believe that it is helpful to “process” or “work through” negative
emotions, as long as the patient doesn’t become so involved in intense emotions that
he/she becomes even more upset. Slowly we are learning more about self-regulation
of emotions. In an interesting experiment (using only college students), Kross,
Ayduk & Mischel (2005) first had each student recall an interpersonal incident in
which they became very angry. Then the experimenters had the subjects remember
and describe the incident under one of two different conditions: One half of the
group was asked to take a “self-immersed perspective,” (“relive the experience as
if it were happening to you all over again”). The other half of the subjects were
asked to look at the experience from a distance taking a “self-distanced
perspective,” (“move back away from the experience a little and watch the conflict
unfold as if happening to a distant you”). Then half of each group was told to focus,
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