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Thoughts And Prayers Are Not Enough

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In the hours after a tragedy inspired by intolerance and bigotry, it is difficult for me to write. I want to be angry and sad, and simply feel those feelings until they dissipate and I’m swept up in the next wave of media and life. I want to sit and watch the news, safely in my home, without action, knowing that it would likely be a reaction to the senseless hate that our country has struggled to defuse. I want to send my “hopes and prayers to the victims and their families” in order to feel a little better about the world and how I experience it, but, I also know that that isn’t, and never will be, enough. Whether you are an advocate for the LGBTQ community or an advocate for civil liberties, wishes and prayers are not enough to stop the violence and intolerance that divide our nation and break our hearts. For real and lasting change to happen we must, as participants in the democratic process, engage mindfully and thoughtfully in the political and cultural dialogues that are happening right now. Have an opinion, listen to others opinion, validate and learn about the differences, and by the grace of God or whatever you believe in, love each other. So instead of just wishing and praying, educate yourself beyond the emotional reactivity we see from Fox News and CNN.

Usually, the hours after a terrorist attack the media turns toward dialogue and coverage about the attackers that further instigates fear and polarization between
“Us and Them”. This binary mentality prevents us from seeing the individuals within the “them” and leads to more polarizing actions rather than learning to understand, communicate with, and co-exist with “them.”

When we choose to do nothing but listen or perpetuate the hate and fear rhetoric, we are ignoring our responsibility and opportunity to heal. By all means, send your prayers to these people, but also know that actions like voting, donating time or money, or having dialogue with others that promotes understanding and tolerance will help move us in the right direction.

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Battered Men: A Different Perspective

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Check out a national blogtalkradio interview I did on “wellness for the real world with Dr. Veronica Anderson”.  This interview included several contributors from academicians, authors, family lawyers, therapists and male victims.  We discuss the change in popular belief about violence and the increased awareness of males who are victims of violence.  This was done in a way that does not diminish the seriousness of female victims, but increases the understanding and experiences of male victims.  My specific segment focused primarily on types of violence and the more recent finding that situational couple violence (where both partners are violent with each other) leads to more injury than violence where there is only one perpetrator.  The whole segment can be found here or listen to the interview by clicking the arrow below.

Creative Commons License photo credit: M. Pratter

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Dangers of Violent Video Games: Clair Mellenthin on National FoxNews.com

Our own Clair Mellenthin, LCSW was interviewed by national Fox News on the impact of a violent and crude new video game that has been banned in other countries but becomes available today in the US.

Read Clair’s national interview on FoxNews.com

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