Stories of violence continue to appear daily on our screens and we continue to wonder why. Is it the guns? Is it mental health? Is it video games? Is it Trump?
Is it men? All but two of the mass shootings in the history of this country have been perpetrated by men or even adolescent boys.
Maybe, says our guest Randy Flood. Though male socialization isn’t the only cause of male-perpetrated violence, it’s impossible to deny that it plays a role. Most men learn early on to disconnect from emotion—theirs and everyone else’s.“Suck it up” and “man up” culture has left many men without the ability to acknowledge their own pain and struggles. And, if you can’t even empathize with yourself, how can you ever really empathize with anyone else?
In short, men are left with no tools for dealing with things like fear, shame, rejection, loneliness, and anger. As a result, many act out aggressively, and sometimes violently – because those are the few tools many men are allowed to use to deal with the overwhelming emotional pain and suffering in their lives.
In this episode, Dan and Randy talk about how helping men gain emotional literacy and develop empathy can lead to a reduction in domestic violence and other violent crimes.
Randy Flood, MA LLP is a therapist with the Fountain Hill Center, co-founder and director of the Men’s Resource Center and the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Mascupathy. Flood has spent the last twenty years creating and developing specialized clinical services for men. Often called upon as an expert witness for district and circuit courts, Flood provides trainings on problems such as bullying, domestic violence, sexual addiction, and men in counseling. He also serves as a therapist and expert relating to parenting time and custody issues.
Flood’s first book, Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior, (Hazelden, 2006), co-authored with Charlie Donaldson, is widely considered one of the leading anger management books for men. He writes for several online and print publications and is a contributing writer to the Michigan Bar Journal and Voice Male magazine. Flood has consulted with national media such as the Christian Science Monitor and Minneapolis Sun Times on issues ranging from domestic violence to mass shootings. His expertise has also been featured on radio, television, podcasts, and in regional and state publications.