All About Punishment

An eye for an eye is one of the strongest human instincts, but reciprocating harm is not always the best course of action. Punishment sometimes works to condition people not to repeat misdeeds, and threats of negative repercussions can act as disincentives, but our ability to rise above our base instinct for revenge and judge each situation objectively and with an eye toward rehabilitation is one of the highest achievements of humanity and of civilization.

Recent Posts on Punishment

What Really Motivates Kids

What really motivates kids (and adults for that matter)? Not rewards. Not punishments. Not even intrinsic motivation! My goodness -- what's left?

Barred Art: Reflections on a Prison Art Show

Guest blogger and colleague Shannon Schmitz, an art therapist who has spent many years working as an art therapist in various prison settings, offers heartfelt musings following her recent experience of judging an art show in a makeshift prison art gallery.

What Did The LAPD Know About Robert Durst and When?

By Cathy Scott on May 20, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
An in-depth look at delayed evidence in the California case against real estate heir Robert Durst, who stands charged with the murder of his best friend, writer Susan Berman.

Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Deserve the Death Penalty?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 15, 2015 in Psych Unseen
How did jurors decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate?

Why Shouldn’t We Use Punishment toTeach A Dog Not To Jump Up

There needs to be trust in our relationships with our pets.

Discipline Rooted in Nurturance and Living Example

Discipline is pointing the way. Living example demonstrates the message in vibrant color impacting a child even more than words.

What Is Your Problem, Baltimore?

By Kathryn Seifert on May 04, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
What Is Your Problem, Baltimore? Racism, Lack of Economic Opportunity, Community Engagement, or Something Else?

Theater Shooter on Trial

Colorado shooter uses insanity plea for his defense

Why Betrayal Hurts So Much (and Who Seeks Revenge)

A betrayal by someone you trust is one of the most challenging interpersonal situations you can face in life. Whether through infidelity or a failure to fulfill a promise, betrayal leads to a desire for revenge, particularly in some people. New neuroscience research suggests who’s most likely to be hurt by a betrayal and why.

Hinckley Release from Mental Hospital

Should John Hinckley be released from the hospital and given freedom?

A Dream of Decapitation

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Couch and Stage
Two drama therapists discuss a dream about a beheading and an attempt to restore life. In doing so, they recount two mythological stories, one about the Golem of Prague and the other about a simple journey home. Through their dialogue they seek to understand the meaning of healing.

How Brian Williams Can Earn Back Trust

Can Brian Williams earn back trust? Yes, he can if he follows the 4 H's and 4 R's.

Fear of Intimacy and Closeness in Relationships

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Being in a relationship with someone who shuts down emotionally when times get tough is no fun. It’s also no fun to try your best only to have others accuse you of not being emotionally available. Learning where these avoidant personality styles come from can help you cope more effectively with stress in your relationships and have a more rewarding experience.

A serialistion of my book “Cancer Is My Teacher” – Part 1

By Lucy O'Donnell on April 18, 2015 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Do you ever have a niggling feeling that something isn't right medically? Are you chronically tired for no reason? Has your Doctor often ignored these complaints and put it down to the stress of modern day living? Well, if this resonates with you, then read on. You could save your life.

Couple’s Alert - Is Your Love Dying?

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
By the time I see couples in therapy, they are often at a breaking point. Frustration tolerance is at an all-time low, and a love that once had such hope is floundering badly. We have to get through layers of disillusionment, anger, and hurt to see if there is anything worth saving at all and if both partners want their relationship to heal.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules—But Whose Hand Is It?

The history of the nature/nurture controversy reveals fraud on the nurture side and developments in our view of nature that the imprinted brain theory readily explains.

Harming the Innocent to Punish the Guilty

By Peter Toohey on April 16, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
There are three harrowing stories here, one modern concerning Katherine Knight, and two from Greek mythology concerning Procne and Atreus. Mental derangement, jealousy and resentment, and profoundly dysfunctional families are at the heart of the cannibalistic stories. They dramatize the harm that is inflicted on the innocent in order to punish the apparently guilty.

Body Punishment

By The Book Brigade on April 16, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Obsessive-compulsive disorder takes many forms, but all of them involve repetitive behaviors that often create vicious cycles of anxiety and shame. Maggie Lamond Simone punished herself to maintain a public face—until the same disorder was diagnosed in her child. Only then did the healing begin.

When Women Use Jealousy

By Duana C. Welch Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Love Proof
Common knowledge says jealousy always backfires. Common knowledge is wrong.

When Your Four Year Old Hits Your Two Year Old: a Script

Rewards and punishment don't usually stop the hitting, because they don't help kids with the underlying feelings, or teach them a better way to solve the problem that caused the hitting. When things do go wrong, we want them to find a way to repair the damage they've done to their relationship.

"Squash It!”

We tend to focus on ‘squashing’ ‘bad’ behavior, A shift in perspective to examining the motivations behind the behavior may ultimately prove more useful.

When a Sociopath Is Hell Bent on Destroying You

By Carrie Barron M.D. on April 13, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Sociopaths (anti-social personality, psychopath) can decimate a life. The mental, emotional or physical trauma can be stunning. The aftermath of sociopathic is unique because the assault instills a dim world view, a shaky sense of safety and a feeling that one has been visited by evil. Here are 16 points of focus to begin recovery.

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

How To Change Your Life

By Sheila Kohler on April 12, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
Change, which is so difficult to achieve in life and to portray in literature is often brought about by a catalyst, a stranger, who comes into our lives and makes us see ourselves in a different and perhaps more truthful light.

Holding a Grudge Produces Cortisol and Diminishes Oxytocin

Are you currently holding a grudge against someone? Is someone holding a grudge against you? This blog post offers scientific reasons and some basic advice on how-to let go of a grudge and move on with your life.

Understanding Behavior via the ToK System

By Gregg Henriques on April 11, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Think you know what the term behavior means? Guess again. However, the unified approach helps make sense out of this central concept.

The Freedom to Enjoy Secure Functioning

By Stan Tatkin Psy.D. on April 09, 2015 in The Puzzle of Love
Psychological principles underlie the current political debate over same-sex unions. Like all couples, same-sex couples have a better chance to thrive in an environment that supports their ability to form a secure-functioning relationship.

What Makes a Book Great?

By Sheila Kohler on April 09, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
I have been reading “Crime and Punishment” with a group of New Yorkers. Where else could one find a group of people interested enough to meet every week or so and discuss a book of this kind? We are all enjoying the book so much, so that at one point I asked somewhat guiltily if it might actually be considered “trash” rather than the great book history has decided it is.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

By Ruth Sarah Lee J.D. on April 09, 2015 in So Sue Me
Assault and battery are two legal terms that are almost always used together. But is there a difference between "assault" and "battery"? As it turns out, one is physical; the other psychological.