Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sound bomb #1: The inner bad client in some of us

(Today’s single-paragraph post is not one of my deep-think pieces. It's my Comment to today’s article: “Defying the odds: How to flip a Trump voter using pure logic,” subtitled “A non-adversarial, respectful approach is the only way to convert Trump supporters.” The article is written by Erica Etelson of AlterNet. So much has been said about the guaranteed fiasco of a Trump presidency – including my own searchable blog posts – that I’ve wearied to the point of issuing tidy “sound bombs.” Yesterday’s comment of mine [“If this money-sucking worm wins, I will be as nauseated about my neighbors as I’ll be about him”] was, I believe, a nice example of crash, burn and walk on. This one is a bit more polite.)

I’ve been a psychotherapist for seventeen years, mostly doing individual therapy. The great majority of my clients have been people who want to deal with consequences of their pain and injury, which most of them come to understand to be rooted in their past – childhood and adolescence. Among other results, this process eventuates in their realizing that they are directing anger at wrong targets – “here-and-now” targets such as a spouse, “life,” God, or their own child, instead of source targets such as an abusive, abandoning, preoccupied (maybe Narcissistic), depleted (weak) or needy parent. These are clients who, with therapist’s empathy and education, come to grow compassion for themselves, which leads to the evaporation of anger and angry attitude about other predominantly innocent (and similarly suffering) people. I will guarantee you – though I can base it only on the past year’s work – that these are not Trump’s people. And I can assure you who are: the authoritarian spouses of my female clients (the men sometimes make "guest appearances" in session), those who contemptuously tell me “I don’t believe in therapy.” The court-ordered men and women, with a strain or more of Antisocial Personality Disorder, who don’t want to be in the room. These and other individuals who are so defended against their childhood bleeding core that anger and attitude, power and revenge have become their life force. They won't profit from gentle Socratic argument. They need therapy.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.