Paul Valent

Paul Valent

Consultant liaison psychiatrist, psychotherapist, traumatologist,
Co-founder and past president Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies,

The Heart of Violence; Why People Harm Each Other

May 8, 2020

Dear Readers,

How are you all? I hope that the corona virus has not touched you. They are certainly strange times.

During my home detention I have reflected on this strangeness in three pieces you can find on the posts below.

But my biggest piece of news is my new book ‘The Heart of Violence; Why People Harm Each Other.’

Those of you familiar with my work, know that I have been a traumatologist, that is, working with victims and survivors. But since my childhood I wanted to know why people wanted to kill me and my family in the Holocaust. So this book is about understanding perpetrators.

As I delved into this quagmire, I realised that the Holocaust showed in sharp relief ‘lesser’ types of violence. So this book is about understanding all types of violence. I think, like traumatology, there is an emerging discipline of violentology.

Violence is not an encapsulated part of the mind. To understand violence, we must understand the mind, including love and lovelessness.

I conclude my journey thus:

“I loved the human mind, the most wondrous miracle in the universe. I felt sorry for its injuries, but admired its capacities and strivings.  I hope that this book will contribute to the mind’s self-knowledge, which in turn may, in these again precarious times, tilt the world, even if only a little, from ignorance and violence to understanding and love.”

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