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Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce that Risk

Raymond B. Flannery

Shootings. Stabbings. Rapes. Acts of terror. These can't happen here. But they do.

Are these truly random events? Can this violence ever be stopped? Can it be prevented? Can we at least reduce the risk?

Violence: Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce that Risk probes the subject through key chapters revised as necessary to bring the subject up to the minute drawn from Dr. Flannery's other groundbreaking books. Flannery is among those at the forefront, studying the effects of violence and posttraumatic stress disorder. The information here highlights the significant findings in this research, over the past quarter-century, on the topics of psychological trauma, PTSD, and its victims.

Writing on Flannery's Preventing Youth Violence, child psychiatrist Marcia Scott, M.D., says: This is not a novel. Dr. Flannery uses his characters and stories to illustrate where and how to look for the warning signs of violence. Civility and community matter, but I think Dr. Flannery does not take the usual tack of bemoaning their loss since, in his eyes, they are more effect than cause. His message is that to a large extent the violence epidemic is a product of our failure to be appalled by it and our failure to do something about it every day.
The present book is published to reduce suffering and save lives.

Reviews & Endorsements:

"Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Violence: Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce that Risk is a compellingly thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections."
- Micah Andrew , Micah's Bookshelf, The Midwest Book Review

"This new publication by Raymond Flannery, called Violence: Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce that Risk, serves as a useful handbook for understanding the roots of violence and its causes and effects as well as offering strategies to decrease risk. As most readers know, violence is rampant in the world in which we live. Flannery opines that America is a culture of violence and it is a national public health problem of epidemic proportion. The U.S. outranks most other countries in the industrialized world in terms of the number of violent crimes, e.g. assault, rape, robbery, and is number one in murder according to Flannery.

The author adeptly uses compelling and contemporary findings from the medical and behavioral sciences to illustrate and bring to life sociological and criminal statistics. It has been about 25 years that researchers in the field of violence prevention have been studying violence in order to deepen understanding of its roots and to decrease risk.

In this thin, but comprehensive volume, the author seeks to address how violence can be contained and curtailed giving coping strategies for individuals, families and communities. Although Flannery states that this book was written for high school and college students, along with first responders, it has application for teachers, clients and clinicians as well. The Figures and Tables given are simple yet helpful graphics that can be used as handouts in various educational, community and clinical venues. The inclusive review of theories of violent behavior, such as why people commit heinous acts including harming children, is informative, interesting and clinically relevant.

Flannery’s emphasis on domains of good health, specifically attachment, mastery and meaningful purpose offer a holistic, strength-based perspective that is well grounded in theory and practice. Information on Elder Abuse, Chronic PTSD, Recovery: Help for Victims and the Assaulted Staff Action Program (ASAP) is especially valuable to practitioners. Although the book contains difficult statistics and stories about violence, the presentation of strategies for coping with these behaviors and acts offers hope for recovery and resilience.

Flannery’s message that an individual and group sense of community and belongingness is needed for the cultural climate to change and for violence to substantially diminish will resonate with many readers. This book is an essential publication for anyone interested in violence prevention at both individual and community levels."

Kerry Morrison, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Greenfield, Mass.

192 pp.  
6" x 9"

Lantern Books


Published:  April 2015


Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Ph.D., FAPM, is the author of six other books including Preventing Youth Violence: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors; Violence in America: Coping with Drugs, Distressed Families, Inadequate Schooling, and Acts of Hate; and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: The Victim's Guide to Healing and Recovery. Dr. Flannery is a licensed clinical psychologist, associate clinical professor of psychology, department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. See all books by Raymond B. Flannery

Related Titles

  • The Violent Person : Professional Risk Management Strategies for Safety and Care
  • Preventing Youth Violence : A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors
  • Violence in the Workplace
  • The Assaulted Staff Action Program : (ASAP)
  • Related Titles by Subject:

    AMHF: Violence & PTSD

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