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A Story About Psycho"therapy," Identity, and Politics

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Stories We Live By

Stories We Live By


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On 8/21 I did a podcast and my topic, my presentation and my discussion with a guest who called in so horrified me that I took it down. After analysing my own behavior I concluded that I was guilty of everything I hate when discussing politics (or any conflict ridden issue) including engaging in identity politics and allowing myself to enter into a pointless zero-sum debate that took me completely off the point of my show. In today's show I will discuss what I have learned as a psycho"therapist" and what I hoped that the people I worked with over my career would learn so that they became their own "therapists" and deal with conflicted situations in more reasoned and effective ways. I hope tonight to practice what I preach! We have just witnessed in Charlottesville a group of marchers carrying Swastikas and chanting slogans that Adolf Hitler would have been proud of and then watched the President of the United States suggest that many of the marchers were just fine people. While it was true that both some of the marchers and the protestors engaged in violent behavior the President gave moral equivalence to both the marchers and the protestors without partialing out the fact that only one side carried offensive flags and chanted Hitlerian solgans. I consider that the millions of individuals on both the left and the right are engaging in what is called identity politics creating divisiveness, hatred of self and others, a loss of insight into their own individual behavior, potential violence and other forms of behavior that might be termed "pathological" on both individual and collective levels. Time for some psycho"therapy":