I try on this blog to keep everyone abreast of the latest trends in psychotherapy. I am sure that you are all dying to know.
Nowadays when many therapists and many of their patients are overwhelmed with existential dread over the election of the Donald, the need for therapy seems to have become more pronounced. And the inability of therapists to do very much more than whine has become even more pronounced.
To be fair, in many cases, they excel at it. They worked long and hard to learn how to do it. So, let’s show some minimal respect.
Therapists who want their patients to get in touch with their feelings are not equipped to deal with patients who are drowning in their feelings. Therapists who are woefully uninformed about political and historical realities are incapable of offering any real perspective.
In the meantime both patients and therapists seem to believe that they do best to make public spectacles of their anguish. They do not understand that making a fool of yourself in public does not alleviate your suffering. It aggravates it. Grow up, people!
As I have noted before, college students in particular are doing the most to damage their reputations. Within a year or two or three they will all be out in the real world looking for jobs. When an interviewer asks them what they learned in college, or better how they learned how to deal with failure and adversity, are they going to explain that they retire to a safe space to suck on lollipops?
Because that is what they are doing. So says Robby Soave in The Daily Beast:
In the wake of the election, many college students at elite colleges and universities have come down with serious cases of PTSD: President Trump Stress Disorder.
Their inability to anticipate this outcome—the election of Donald Trump—should prompt the Ivy League to consider whether it’s really preparing students for life outside the liberal bubble of campus.
To equip students with the resources they need to refute Trumpism, colleges have to stop shielding them from ideas that offend their liberal sensibilities. They have to stop pretending that shutting down a discussion is the same thing as winning an argument. Silence is not persuasion.
At Cornell University, weary students sat outside in shock the morning after the election. The Cornell Daily Sun, which live-streamed the gathering, invited viewers to “cry with us.” Attendees said they were heartbroken and terrified.
Elsewhere, at campuses across the country, students begged professors to cancel classes and postpone exams, citing fear, exhaustion, and emotional trauma. Such accommodations were frequently granted: Academics at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and other institutions told students to take some time to come to terms with what had happened, as if the election of Donald Trump was akin to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
That wasn’t all. Law students at the University of Michigan were provided with a post-election “self-care with food and play” event, complete with “stress busting” activities like play dough, coloring books, legos, and bubbles. Columbia University’s Barnard College offered hot chocolate and coloring. The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, created a healing space: more coloring books, and also puppies.
Do you feel their pain? If you don’t, you have not had enough therapy. Get thee to thy therapist’s office post-haste and learn to regress to a pre-infantile state.
Hats off to Robby Soave and others for trying to show these children that they look pathetic. And that it will take them some considerable time and effort to overcome the stigma they are placing on their foreheads.
To be fair, they are making such a spectacle of themselves that they are distracting us from the issues and problems that confront the nation. Generation snowflake cannot stand it when they do not receive enough attention. Even worse, they cannot stand the prospect of actually working to solve problems. Better to whine like mewling children.
Anyway, the Brooklyn Museum in New York is offering some free art therapy this weekend. At the least, it’s a step above legos and blowing bubbles.
W Magazine reports:
The Brooklyn Museum usually has an admission fee of $16, but this weekend the institution's offering free admission "as people search for a sense of national unity." The reference, of course, is to the results of the election, which many — and many artists among them — have come to consider a national tragedy.
This weekend, then, has been one for coping. And for those New Yorkers willing to venture out of their homes, the experience of seeing art has proven a useful antidote. Here, the best works to see in the city this weekend and in coming weeks, from all-immersive installations like Pipilotti Rist at the New Museum that serve as beautiful distractions to racially focused shows that'll get you ready to mobilize, like Kerry James Marshall and Benny Andrews' recaps of African-American history.
Did you catch that: this so-called art is going to get you ready to mobilize. For the record, and for those who understand the bare minimum about art, when “art” is designed to get you to mobilize it is agitprop, not art. That’s what’s wrong with so much of today’s art. Its consumers, like its producers, live in a bubble. They have no idea what the world is thinking and have no idea about how reality works. They disparage creative enterprise and only think that their work matters if it has a political impact. I suspect that the hidden meaning behind all this is that they are mediocre artists.
The result: they have been incapable of processing the simple fact that, by the rules currently in use, they and their candidate LOST. It happens, get over it.
As for those who believe that they can change the rules after the game is over, they should overcome their ignorance and grasp the rank impossibility of engineering a different outcome. See the following explanation of the electoral college by Matt Vespa in Vox. Take it as a reality check.
For those of a more resilient mindset, I offer one last therapy. It is currently on offer through Craigslist. I suspect that its practitioners are unlicensed. I mention it in the interest of completeness. I would feel remiss if I did not inform you of everything that is out there. For those of a delicate sensibility, consider yourself trigger warned.
The article comes to us from Vocativ. It was authored by one Jeff Andrews. One admires the intestinal fortitude of said Andrews, who apparently has been trolling Craigslist looking for white men who will allow you (even invite you) to express all of your aggressive tendencies toward privileged white men… by spanking them, even by beating them.
Andrews gets the tone right on this one:
It’s been seven long days since Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States, and if you’re among the Americans who believe that making a reality television star leader of the free world was not the human race’s best decision ever, you may have noticed negative changes in your behavior since last week — perhaps increased alcohol consumption, doomsday prepping, or a lack of interest in anything other than screaming “why” over and over again.
If this sounds like you, it might be time to close your laptop, and find a new way to channel your rage. It appears people all over the country have already had this idea as there’s been a huge surge in election-related appeals for companionship on Craigslist that cater to whatever stage of grief you’re in.
Vocativ read through Craigslist personals listing from several major cities and found that the most creative ads are for those from the BDSM community who expressed their willingness to take a beating to help you temporarily escape the looming specter of an alt-right dystopia.
One listing posted by a man in New York City comes with a NSFW picture of his bottom and a simple message: “This is not a solution, but maybe a small, fun, cathartic escape. Take out your anger by putting me over your knee and giving me a hard spanking!” This sentiment is echoed in another New York listing that says “I voted for trump. If you are feeling angry about trump, and you feel like relieving some stress, use me as your personal kicking/punching bag. [sic]”
I suspect that the first questions running through your mind are these: What is the fee? Is the treatment covered by insurance? Is it covered by Obamacare? If not, why not. If it is, you have yet another reason to protest against the dastardly Republicans who want to take away your Obamacare.
To be perfectly frank, I don’t know the answers to those salient questions. I leave it to those who are interested to do the research, to make the calls and to set up the therapy sessions.
Of course, some people are looking for more mundane and prosaic ways to quell their anguish. Andrews reports on them too:
In addition to the cheeky pleas to BDSM, there were dozens of Craigslist personals all over the country of people genuinely despondent about the election who thought a hook up could distract them. There were also numerous posts of people looking for someone they could marry in hopes of securing a green card, now that the threat of mass deportation is very real.
Suffice to say, there are a lot of people who don’t know what to do with themselves in Trump’s America other than boink as an escape, and you can find them Craigslist.
Of course, many of them are so depressed that they do not even want to do that.