Psychological Understanding of School Shootings: Reflections On the Minds of Shooters and The Impact On Us All
This conference attempts to create a platform for a dialogue on this school shootings and aims to replace the volatility of the moment, the mythology generated by lack of information and the media hype with genuine reflection, knowledge and understanding.
6.5 CEU Credits
SW, MFT, MHC, PsyD, PhD
About the Conference
Although school shootings are exceedingly rare events, the general public and even those of us in mental health, education and other professional fields are overwhelmed by terrifying, and at times helpless feelings these events evoke in us.
This conference attempts to create a platform for a dialogue on this phenomenon and aims to replace the volatility of the moment, the mythology generated by lack of information and the media hype with genuine reflection, knowledge and understanding.
Participants will be invited to join in what is intended to be an extensive discussion of the complexities involved in protecting our children and ourselves in the settings where we have always and should always feel safe.
Inside the Minds and Worlds of School Shooters: A Depth Psychological Perspective On School Shootings
William S. Pollack , PH.D ABPP
In his presentation Dr. Pollack reviews the knowledge and insights he gained from his extensive investigation of incidents of school shootings, as well as live depth psychological individual interviews of school shooters, victims’ and bystanders to these attacks. He highlights the fact that the vast majority of “school shooters” are young white middle class male youths. He draws from his lifelong research and clinical work on boys and young males’ psychology to argue that shooters negotiate attachment trauma, depression and psychic disconnection through aggressive enactments and violence.
Dr. Pollack provides a nuanced understanding about “school shooters” and suggests that the shooter is set upon a “pathway toward violent harm” purposefully directed at a specific school environment that was experienced as intolerably and insolubly painful. By comparing those who came forward to notify an adult and those who did not, among bystanders who knew in advance about the violent plan to cause harm, Dr. Pollack helps us gain an understanding of the bystanders’ mind as well. He cautions us against the dangerous myth of believing that we can create a distinct “profile” of perpetrators. In his view, the most useful approach to eradicating these forms of violence is creating a caring and emotionally connected school environment, as well as educating the public in becoming “human detectors”. He argues that students, teachers, administrators and parents are in the best position to notice that a potential “perpetrator” is in trouble. Therefore, they can potentially facilitate preventative interventions to forestall such violence.
Dr. Pollack outlines the specific components of an emotionally safe and psychologically informed school climate that can optimally prevent violent escalations. In his view, it is essential that holders of vital information of planned harm feel safe and supported in seeking officials’ assistance. They must trust that their disclosure will be met with a non-punitive approach toward themselves and those who seem “troubled” or “disturbed”. Dr. Pollack suggests a “threat assessment model” for diminishing school shootings and enhancing students access to necessary mental health interventions.
The presentation includes intensive vignettes and visual interviews provided for a more experience-near understanding. A selected bibliography, for further learning will be offered.
Must Protocol Supersede Judgement? Assessing the Risk for Premeditated School Violence
Lawrence Rosenberg, PhD
In his presentation, Dr. Rosenberg invites participants to think past protocols and focus on how best to assess the level of risk that a troubled student represents. He will address the questions: Upon what information are we to base our decisions? Tools will be offered to assist in coming to clinically sound, well informed judgements about these risks.
Followed by a roundtable discussion with
Dr. Steve Hyman, Director of Psychodynamic School Psychology Postgraduate Program
Dr. Stephanie Lake, Director of Criminal Justice Program
Dr. William Pollack (Keynote speaker)
Dr. Larry Rosenberg, Faculty Child and Adolescent program (speaker)
Dr. Ionas Sapountzis, Director of School Psychology Graduate Program
Dr. Kirkland Vaughans, Director of Child and Adolescent Postgraduate Program
William Pollack, Ph.D. ABPP is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. He presently serves as a Senior Clinical Consultant and Research Director on the Mental Health of Boys, Young Men & Men at The Cambridge Health Alliance Public Schools and functions as an Independent Consultant on Behavioral Threat Assessment, Sexual Harassment, Bullying, & Safe School and Work Climates.
Dr. Pollack was appointed to and served on two United States Presidential Initiatives/Campaigns on Youth Violence and Youth Development; and was a chief consultant to The United States Secret Service in its collaborative Safe Schools Initiative [SSI] with the U.S. Department of Education. He co-authored Threat assessment in schools: A guide to managing threatening situations and to creating safe school climates and was the Principal Investigator of the published study: Prior knowledge of potential school-based violence: Information students learn may prevent a targeted attack. He co- authored two key chapters on Bullying & Violence in the books The parents guide to psychological first aid and School rampage shootings and other youth disturbances.
Dr. Pollack is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the secret struggles of boys and men in our society. He authored several bestselling books on this topic and received numerous awards for his work.
Dr. Larry Rosenberg is immediate Past President of Section II (Child and Adolescent) of the Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology of the APA and is a Member at Large on the Section V (applied psychoanalysis) Board of Directors. Dr. Rosenberg is a faculty member at the Postgraduate Programs, Derner School of Psychology of Adelphi University. He served for 27 years as the Clinical Director of the Child Guidance Center of Southern CT, where he founded training programs in psychology and social work and served for 10 years as co-chair of the Education and Training Committee of the Connecticut Association of Mental Health Clinics for Children. Dr. Rosenberg contributed to the formation of the first accredited Community Action Center in the state of CT. He has often provided expert testimony on child sexual abuse cases as well as consultation and training for state’s attorneys and defense lawyers in the state and more recently has done the same for a unit of the United Nations. Dr. Rosenberg is co-editor of the Child Section of the PDM2 and a contributor to the Adolescent Section of that manual. He is co-editor, along with Steve Axelrod and Ron Naso, of Progress in psychoanalysis: Envisioning the future of the profession, published by Routledge. Dr. Rosenberg is in private practice in Stamford, CT where he sees children, adolescents and adult patients and continues to supervise and consult with clinicians and executives working in the public sector.
Stephen Hyman, PhD
Dr. Hyman is the founder and director of the Adelphi Postgraduate Program in Psychodynamic School Psychology. For many years Dr. Hyman served as a school psychologist in the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools. Based on this experience he authored the published paper “The School as a Holding Environment.” Dr. Hyman is in private practice in Roslyn, NY where he sees children, adolescents and adult patients.
Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch.
|Derner School and other Adelphi alumni and faculty||$100|
|Special discount group of 5 from the same SD||$100|
|Current Adelphi students with ID||$60|
|Current graduate students from other universities with ID||$80|
|Current Derner Student/Candidate||$25|
|Sunday, October 18|
|8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.||Registration and light breakfast|
|9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.||Inside the minds and worlds of school shooters: Speaker: Dr. William Pollack Presentation Part I|
|10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.||Coffee break|
|10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Presentation Part II|
|12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m.||Lunch|
|12:50 p.m.–2:00 p.m.||
Must Protocol Supersede Judgement? Assessing the Risk for Premeditated School Violence.
Speaker: Dr. Larry Rosenberg
|2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.||Round Table discussion|
Registrants will receive 6.5 CE credits. Adelphi University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Adelphi University maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The Adelphi University School of Social Work is a cosponsor of this event and is recognized by the New York State Board of Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0032. Participants who attend this conference will receive 6.5 CE credits. No partial credits can be offered.
Full refunds are issued for cancellations made up to 7 working days before the event. Cancellations of less than 7 days for any reason, or no-shows are not refunded. Credit towards a future event/workshop are issued for cancellations less than 7 days and up to 24 hours before the event. No credit is issued for cancellations less than 24 hours before the events or no-shows.
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