Alarm And Confusion From Our President
No president in the history of the United States has inspired more alarm and confusion than Donald Trump. As questions and concerns about his decisions, behavior, and qualifications for office have multiplied, they point to one primary question: Does he pose a genuine threat to our country?
The American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater Rule constrains psychiatrists from offering diagnoses on public figures who are not patients and who have not endorsed such statements.
But in Trump On The Couch, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Justin A. Frank invokes the moral responsibility that compels him to speak out and present a full portrait of a man who presents us with a clear and present danger.
Obama On The Couch
Exploring the psyche of Obama, Frank describes the 44th president as suffering from “Obsessive Bipartisan Disorder” a characterological need to avoid partisan positioning that was rooted in his biography as the son of a broken, mixed-race marriage; as we have learned more about the motivations behind Obama’s remaining silent about the Russian manipulation of the 2016 election.
It has become painfully clear that his Obsessive Bipartisan Disorder did indeed set the stage for Trump’s victory and attempts to eradicate Obama record.
Obama On The Couch also explored the psychological underpinnings of some positions embraced by the Republicans. Opposition, as well as the psychological blind spots that enabled Obama’s and the Democrat’s failure to appreciate fully the strength of the opposition.
Frank concluded with concerns that these un-examined pockets of denial could pave the way for a successor who poses even graver risks to the nation and the world than did his predecessor, George W Bush.
Trump’s Personality And Character
Trying to define Trump’s personality and character through the discipline of applied psychoanalysis, however Frank says he has not read the treaties that he suspects have preceded his own because he doesn’t speak Russian.
The discipline of applied psychoanalysis has long been used by the CIA and other intelligence agencies to study foreign leaders and politicians, and the author has no doubt that the Russian effort to interfere on Trump’s behalf in 2016 election was preceded by an extensive assessment of his psyche.
Russian intelligence has access to the same psychoanalytic theory as American intelligence agencies (and psychoanalysts); assuming the Russians ground that theory into a lens through which to carefully review Trump’s known biography, what they would have seen was a person who was uniquely positioned to be co-opted or unknowingly, or both-by an authoritative Putin regime looking to manipulate America’s voters and destabilize its democracy at home and influence abroad.
Informed By The Freudian Tradition
Author, Frank explains his analytic approach is informed by the Freudian tradition, as well as the work of psychoanalytical theorist Melanie Klein who expanded on Freud’s discoveries and focused in particular on the mental attributes that thtrates toward aggression and destructiveness.
As Trump has quickly established himself as the most aggressive, destructive president in memory, the Kleinian approach is particularly apt for understanding him. Klein posits that the individuals struggle to manage his own innate destructiveness begins in early childhood, and we will use that insight as a tool for understanding a broad range of Trump’s behaviors.
Fortunately, Donald Trump’s own published record-from books he has authored over the years to his more recent, incomparable Twitter output-provides an unprecedented amount of material that depicts how these unconscious patterns devulged in childhood still influence his words and deeds in adulthood.
Divided Into Two Parts
Part one of this book, looks at Trump’s family history and early years to identify the sources of the dynamics that are most essential to understanding Trump’s psychology. In part two, he looks at a range of defenses and disorders that he demonstrates as an adult, with an eye toward identifying their psychoanalytic underpinning as a means toward understanding their influence as well as his defenses against their impact.
What this means is that the author will return to familiar material from Trump’s life, but with different perspectives that depend on his particular behavior at that time.
Trump Unfit For The Presidency
“There’s no question THAT TRUMP IS MENTALLY UNFIT in ways that make him psychologically unsuited for the presidency;,” The author writes also, “that this is in itself a truly alarming turn of events, and I would write the entire book in all caps if I thought that would better convey the sense of urgency with which it is written and should be read.,”
Trump’s presidency caps a lifetime of dysfunction and disorder that is not likely to be healed while he is in office, just as Trump’s ascendancy among voters gives expression to long-standing trends in the American electorates psyche that are not going to be easily addressed.
However, if we can identify certain aspects of those disorders and trends that may have contributed to Trump and his voters fusing into a shared belief system, then we have a better chance of fostering the kind of honest cultural discussion that will be necessary in order to contain and begin to repair the damage that has already been done.
Using observations gained from a close study of Trump’s patterns of thought, action, and communication, Dr. Frank uncovers a personality riddled with mental health issues. His analysis is filled with important revelations about our nation’s leader, including disturbing insights into his childhood, his family, his business dealings, and his unusual relationship with alternative facts, including how:
The absence of a strong maternal force during childhood has led to Trump’s remarkable lack of empathy and The absence of a strong maternal force during childhood has led to Trump’s remarkable lack of empathy and disregard for women’s boundaries:
- His compulsion to polarize America has grown out of the way he perceives the world as full of deceitful and destructive persecutors;
- His inability to tolerate the pain of frustration has triggered his belief that omnipotence will finally remove it;
- His idiosyncratic use of language points to larger issues that even his tweets might suggest.
With our country itself at stake, Dr. Frank calls attention to the underlying narcissism, misogyny, deception, and racism that drive the President who endangers it. A penetrating examination of how we as a nation got here and, more important, where we are going. Trump On The Couch sounds a call to action that we cannot ignore.
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All The Best,