#45: View From The Therapist’s Couch

Donald Trump promised to put Americans back to work again.

He’s already got one profession working overtime.

Therapists.

A psychoanalyst who lives in Westport, and practices here and in another city, emailed “06880.” Speaking anonymously — I’ll call him or her “T,” because of confidentiality — the therapist said that even before the election, patients were expressing anxiety.

One woman had a panic attack on election night. At 1 a.m., she texted T.

“It reached a fever pitch right afterward,” T says. “Then it abated. It kicked up again after the Muslim ban.”

The therapist said that patients with trauma issues in their past find it hard to regulate emotions. In times of uncertainty — when the world seems unpredictable — agitation increases.

People across the political spectrum feel anxious, says T. The nation’s polarization causes concern for everyone. Trump supporters can feel angry and threatened, especially in this part of the country.

"So how did this election make you feel?"

“So how did this election make you feel?”

Patients are not always conscious that they’re reacting to the political climate. Some say they find themselves more tense at work, or angry with their partners. “They just think there’s something in the air,” T says.

These are tough times for therapists as well. “We have our own strong emotions,” T observes. “We have to distinguish between our histories, and our patients’. We’re constantly checking in on ourselves.”

Sounds like therapists need therapists. So there is indeed plenty of work for all!

16 responses to “#45: View From The Therapist’s Couch

  1. Tom Feeley Sr

    Turn off the mainstream media. See if that works 😂

    • Dick Lowenstein

      It’s not the mainstream that’s anxiety-provoking…it’s the alt-right… from Breitbart to Faux/Fox News.

  2. or try listening to Nipsey Hussle’s Masterpiece, on utube, “Fuck Donald Trump”. four or five repeats of this makes everyone feel better .

  3. Try to take comfort in knowing that the Trump presidency will be abbreviated. Either his physical or mental (how will we know?) health will crack completely or he will be forced to leave office through impeachment or its threat.
    ADW Staples 1956

  4. A breakout of TDS; Trump derangement syndrome. Very amusing. Something similar happened in 1968.

    • Bruce J. Kent

      Agree Michael, but don’t know whether it is more pathetic than it is amusing. One thing for sure tho – whoever coined the word “snowflakes” sure was apt;

      • Werner Liepolt

        “Snowflake: Short for “special snowflake,” a pejorative for an entitled person. Most people protesting Trump are “snowflakes,” according to the alt-right, as are anti-Trump celebrities and most liberals.”
        Source: LA Times

        “In Missouri in the early 1860s, a ‘snowflake’ was a person who was opposed to the abolition of slavery—the implication of the name being that such people valued white people over black people. ”
        Source: Merriam-Webster

      • Nancy Hunter

        A euphemism for the human ashes falling in Nazi Germany.

      • Nancy Hunter

        “It is a handcuff of an insult, and nobody has the key.”

        “In calling one a snowflake, you are not just shutting down their opinion, but telling them off for being offended that you are doing so.
        And if you, the snowflake, are offended, you are simply proving that you’re a snowflake.”

        A common occurrence here.

    • Nancy Hunter

      “America behold your snowflake-in-chief”
      Source: The Guardian

  5. Ive gotten the impression that the less self centered a person is the easier time they have when they don’t get what they want but someone else does, so the less anxious they are. most trump supporters I know, thinking he was losing election, were ok with ‘as long as someone in the room is happy with the results, that’s good enough’ and HRC supporters we knew thought that was a great way to look at it, (until shoe was on other foot, so to speak). Susan Farley

  6. Nancy Hunter

    Move to the “Best Country in the World” — Switzerland — where even the cows are more placid!

    Those who believe in polls will be disappointed to know that the U.S. has slipped to #7 (which may explain this particular post?)

  7. Isabelle Breen, LCSW

    As a therapist in the more working class community of Stratford, I found my clients more split. Interestingly, my younger, white (30’s) clients were pro-Trump. Baby boomers or college educated clients were the ones experiencing anxiety. And of course clients from minority demographics (especially my undocumented and trans persons) are terrified.

    • that’s so interesting about your ‘of course clients fr minority demographics…terrified’,

      do you think, in regard to transgender persons, that is because left unto it’s own the state of Connecticut won’t provide laws that protect them? I think that CT along with NY and NJ will do so, but you and your clients don’t think so? Some laws are best left to States to offer than to have federal govt impose on states, It will be good for everyone to know which states are able to offer laws that protect transgender community.

      As for the undocumented, those that I know and work with aren’t terrified because none are considered criminals, i.e., they are actually filling out paperwork to get into the system/get documented because knowing that they aren’t criminals they aren’t going to be deported, i.e., having that definition of who will be deported and who isn’t going to be has actually helped them to – they were never terrified – get more peace of mind, to live their lives in USA more fully.

      Susan Farley