A New Theory about Violence Prevention

We recommend a new diagnosis be developed based on “Impaired Sensory-Emotional Integration”, stemming from the inability to feel.  Violence should be regarded as a public health issue in the same manner of other epidemics.

“Impaired Sensory-Emotional Integration”, more broadly referred to as emotional numbing, is a necessary variable, but not a sufficient precursor to violent behavior.  Cognitive risk factors in violent behavior include: an individual who is struggling with command hallucinations/violent delusions, is having terrorist ideology, is entitled to sexual gratification, is seeking revenge, is divisive, and is wishing to die.

We believe the loss of the ability to feel is the worst affliction known to humankind – we believe some individuals don’t feel, they are in such a desensitized state there is no visceral inhibition.

The following screening questions are developed from the theory of state-dependent “Impaired Sensory-Emotional Integration”:

  1. Do you feel emotionally shut down as if you had lost the ability to feel?
  2. Are you less sensitive to things you normally care about?


The Empowerment Program Advisory Council together with Wahlberg and Kennedy
Walberg, L., Kennedy, J., and J. Simpson. (2003).  “Impaired Sensory-Emotional Integration in a Violent Adolescent Sexual Offender.”
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 12(3): 1-15.  The Haworth Press, Inc.
January, 2017

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