Saturday, October 11, 2008

Small Craft Warning: Politics and Emotion in 2008

Still waiting for that 1st advice letter/inquiry. Having a friend, former client (one sent an amusing prank email) or even myself send me one would be easy, but I want the letters to be real and genuine. I know quite a few of you are giving me my share of impressions, so please help me get this thing rolling.

Ah, but there is plenty of treatment fodder out there anyways. I was thinking about the current economic "crisis" and the upcoming election and how this cultural climate might impact treatment. What are some attitudes and feelings I am picking up on in these turbulent times? I may see this exaggerated in my practice because I live in a Detroit suburb and this area is being impacted by the economic downturn more than any other area in the US. I have a few listed below and the how and why as it relates to a mounting tension in American culture. As the third wave feminists would say "the person is political" and I have been observing how the political seas of change are effecting my clientele, many who are finding how these hard times are compounding the stress associated with their already unsettled lives.

wait and see

people's dreams and aspirations are being put on hold. Fearful of making large purchases. Reluctant to take on new challenges, such as school or a new business venture. Hopeless thinking about their future endeavors panning out. A pessimistic paralysis as they tread water and wait for the cultural environment to change in a way that makes personal growth more feasible.

bargaining with themselves

A lost job, a foreclosed home, will lead to self-reflection. Having explored all reasonable options, they endeavor in magical thinking: perusing luck, ritual behaviors and excessive use of faith.

slash and burn

A sense of abandonment. People feel they may as well run up the credit cards and enjoy life because "I am loosing my home and going bankrupt anyways." Hedonistic tendencies follow.

sour grapes

As the election nears, and the outcome becomes more evident, those who see that their ideas for change are not going to take place. They begin to express anger and hatred towards those that do not see things their way.

these are all irrational responses to an albeit overwhelming challenge. We need to contain and moderate these feeling as a starting point to our own personal adaptation to these changes in our political and economic environment. We need to have a grip on how much influence these socio-economic factors have on our lives and how much control we can exert over this phenomena and how much support we can glean from those around us. And lastly, in terms of exerting our own control, DON'T FORGET TO VOTE.

Jeff aka “Dr. Memory.”

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