Impact News

Responding to Violence, Suicide, Psychosis and Trauma

Nepotistic patterns of violent psychopathy: evidence for adaptation?

I’ve seen a number of articles along similar lines of late. The argument seems to be that psychopaths rarely harm close family, while those with mental illnesses sometimes do. As a result, psychopathy could be seen as adaptive rather than disordered. On the other hand I have heard that in the US some judges are viewing psychopathy as a mitigating factor in sentencing. Strange, since most would hope that psychopaths, with full access to their faculties when they perpetrate atrocities should be locked up for longer?!

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Reduced thalamic volume in men with antisocial personality disorder or schizophrenia and a history of serious violence and childhood abuse

This is interesting because it lends further support to the idea that the thalamus is implicated, through faulty sensory filtering, both in the development of psychotic symptoms – particularly hallucinations – and also it’s relationship with violent behaviour.

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Pre-order Facing Danger in the Helping Professions

You can now pre-order “Facing Danger in the Helping Professions” by Iain Bourne at

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Humans have “Super Spidey Sense” for Danger

The Instant Aggression Model largely depends on the idea that people can sense danger before they are consciously aware of it. This is usually referred to as intuition or a gut reaction. The explanation lies in role played in the brain by the thalamus which filters all incoming sensory data – channeling important data up to the pre-frontal cortex where it can be thought about, but channeling dangerous data directly to the amygdala which processes emotion and activates the body before thought takes place. Interestingly this idea has received further support in a study widely reported on the internet suggesting that people do indeed have a “Spiderman” like ability to sense danger before it happens. Actually, the research is not quite so clear as the headlines, but it makes an interesting read none-the-less:


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Difficult, Disturbing & Dangerous Behaviour

This dramatic course delivered by Dr Iain Bourne is being made available by Sitra:

20th September 2012 in London

26th September in Leeds


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Beyond Abuse: working with high risk service users

This dramatic course delivered by Dr Iain Bourne is open for applications by Sitra:

12th September 2012 in Southampton

25th October 2012 in London

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