James Kimmel, Jr, JD

Lecturer in Psychiatry

Research Departments & Organizations

Connecticut Mental Health Center

Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

Research Interests

Anger; Behavior Control; Conflict (Psychology); Dangerous Behavior; Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders; Emotions; Fear; Forgiveness; Happiness; Hate; Hostility; Impulsive Behavior; Intention; Love; Morals; Personal Satisfaction; Pleasure; Power (Psychology); Psychiatry and Psychology; Risk-Taking; Social Norms; Social Values

Research Summary

As a practicing lawyer, researcher, and writer, I am interested in the intersection of law, psychology, and spirituality and, in particular, the ways in which human beings respond to being wronged, how conflicts are resolved and healing takes place, and whether, and how, people control, or indulge, the desire for justice in the form of revenge/retribution--also known as motive control. I have studied, researched, and written about revenge-seeking, motive control and violence prevention for more than a decade, focusing specifically on how revenge gratification is a root cause of violence and can become a self-destructive, anti-social addiction/compulsion (justice addiction). I have developed a theoretical framework called nonjustice and an intervention called the Nonjustice System that are designed to prevent violence, promote healing, and control the desire for justice in the form of revenge. My research continues to focus in these areas using a highly collaborative process that includes medical sociology, public health, neuroscience, addiction science, psychology, spirituality, and law.

Selected Publications

  • A Pilot Study of Motive Control to Reduce Vengeance Cravings

    J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 46(4) online, 2018. DOI:10.29158/JAAPL.003792-18 2018

  • The Trial of Fallen Angels, a novel

    New York: Penguin Random House/Putnam 2012

  • Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life's Conflicts

    Charlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing, 2005 2005

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