A Systemic Look at Evil and Empathy

Those of us in the mental health fields have seen the range of human behavior. Often, the behavior cannot be explained by what we studied in school and read in the literature and seems to be counter to what theory would suggest. That led me to recently ask a colleague if a person can be evil as opposed to fitting within a diagnostic category. I am speaking, not in a theological sense, but diagnostically. I prefer to think not; but that does not make it so.

I am a systems thinker and would like to believe we can develop a system approach to dealing with what is seen as evil in an individual. However, the complexity, on a clinical level coupled with it being counter to my training can be overwhelming. The post on evil and empathy gave me needed structure to even discuss the topic with any hope of better understanding it. Thank you.


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