Monday, May 17, 2021

Prince Harry Had Too Much Therapy

The topic is tailor-made for this blog. Or, since the subject of the column is Prince Harry himself, I should probably say that it is bespoke.

Dr. Max Pemberton, Daily Mail mental health columnist, has written about the simple fact that Prince Harry is suffering from a syndrome that results from his having had too much therapy.

As you doubtless know by now, I hold the concept near and dear. I have been writing about it for some thirteen years now. So, it is good to see that other professionals are seeing what I have been seeing. If you are a longtime reader of this blog, most of what Pemberton says will sound familiar.

For the record, Pemberton is a British psychiatrist. For what it’s worth, he initially used the name Max Pemberton as a nom de plume, to disguise his identity. In time, he officially changed his name to Max Pemberton and practices under it.

As you might guess I do not care a fig for Prince Harry. An idiot prince who gains international celebrity by marrying a third rate actress is not exactly my bailiwick. Yesterday, the idiot prince and recent American immigrant declared that the first amendment to the constitution is “bonkers,” but he did not understand it. Having half a brain he got it half right.

Pemberton exposes Harry as a chronic whiner and complainer. He believes, as do I, that Harry learned it from therapy. He had too much therapy and therefore does not understand that struggles and difficulties in life can be a good thing:

At the launch of his Apple TV+ mental health series last week, Prince Harry spoke about how the ‘majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief’. Well, yes, we do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, it can actually be a force for good.

The failures, struggles and difficulties we experience are what make us learn to stand on our own two feet and be stable, secure adults. It is part of learning how to deal with frustration, anxiety and uncertainty. This seems to have passed him by.

Having had too much therapy, Harry blames it on his parents. It is clearly the first symptom of this syndrome:

Harry launched a further broadside at the Royal Family in an interview on Thursday, during which he appeared to suggest both his father and the Queen failed as parents.

He said he needed to leave the Royals to ‘break the cycle’ of ‘genetic pain and suffering’ for the sake of his own children.

Far from being the poster-child for the benefits of therapy, I’m afraid Harry is actually becoming quite the opposite.

He is starting to embody the characteristics of those who’ve had too much therapy — self-centred, self-obsessed, aggrieved and resentful. He says he’s talking about his troubles ‘to help other people’. This rings rather hollow.

Nicely put-- self-centered, self-obsessed, aggrieved and resentful. Does the term narcissism come to mind? The notion that his public whining about his pain is going to help other people is ridiculous, even for his mini mind.

After all, despite his terrible upbringing, Harry is not doing so badly. He is phenomenally wealthy; lives like a royal; and is feted by know-nothing Hollywood celebrities. Better yet, he has his own television series about mental health. Yikes.

While a bit of self-obsession is acceptable inside a therapist’s office, it is unbecoming in public, especially from someone who has — and continues to have — a life of almost unparalleled luxury and privilege.

It would be far more helpful if Harry showed through his actions how he has turned his difficulties into something positive, rather than simply sounding spoilt and angry.

He has also failed to understand that the modern obsession with getting everything off your chest, airing every grievance, isn’t helpful at all.

Yes, indeed, getting it all out, getting it off your chest, expressing your true feelings on the public stage, complaining about your miserable life-- is not helpful. How many times have I made this point?

Pemberton continues:

Sometimes a stiff upper lip is precisely what’s needed. Sometimes talking about something endlessly isn’t the answer. Talking can only make so much difference. There are times when you need to accept the past and move on.

No amount of chat is going to change what has happened.

Another point well taken. We keep hearing on television and we keep reading in the newspapers-- from so-called advice columnists-- that it is a good thing to talk it all out. But, that keeps us mired in the past and has us present ourselves as highly self-centered and disagreeable individuals. How about looking ahead and putting the past behind us.

So, Pemberton advises: Let it go:

The best advice doesn’t always come from Freud or Jung. I often think a good mantra to live your life by is the song from Disney’s Frozen: Let It Go.

After all, isn’t that all that psychotherapy is, really? It’s simply helping us to let go of something in the past and move on. And there does come a point where people do have to let stuff go.

At what point, for example, do you stop looking back and start looking forward? At what point do you stop blaming your parents for all the mistakes you’ve made in your life?

Stop blaming your parents; what a novel idea. 

And, get over your tendency, prescribed by our therapy culture, to get in touch with your feelings, to feel you feelings, to pick apart every tiny emotion that you are unfortunate enough to feel:

In our rush to encourage people to explore their feelings, we have become a little too obsessed with every single emotion we experience.

Sometimes, the best thing someone can do is to pick themself up, dust themself off, accept that they have been knocked down and get on with their life.

… there comes a point when you have to leave wounds alone. Constantly reopening and examining them only makes them take longer to heal and more likely to scar.

He continues:

Looking at the young who embrace the idea that we must constantly examine our feelings, I wonder if they really are happier than the older generation?

Has society got noticeably better, with more psychologically rounded individuals? I’m not convinced it has.

But then, Pemberton adds, which members of the royal family do we admire the most? Surely, as I have occasionally noted, Harry’s mother, the unfortunate princess of wails does not make the list.

If Harry really wants to help people, rather than following the trend for oversharing — which has done little to help the mental wellness of large swathes of the La La Land elite — he would do far better to look closer to home and ask himself who are the modern royals we most admire?

Who, over the past few decades, come across as the most psychologically robust?

It’s certainly not his much- loved mother Princess Diana, who, despite hours upon hours of psychotherapy, was still dogged by problems.

No, the royals people look up to are the Queen and Princess Anne, both of whom are paragons of emotional restraint.

I’ve no doubt both have their own issues, as everyone does, but they just get on with things, don’t they? They don’t wallow in self-pity or spend all day self-analysing. They let it go.

They do not wallow in self-pity. They do not go on national television to make a spectacle of their pain. The move on. Or, the Brits like to say, they keep calm and carry on.


Webutante said...

Terrific post, Stuart, and yes, made for you! Harry strikes me as unmoored and adrift without a paddle. He has no real identity except Meghan's and Oprah's hand puppet. His family rightly has concerns about him. And I can barely stand to watch the train-wreck coming.

Thanks, and please keep this post updated.

David Foster said...

Somehow, this guy became an attack helicopter pilot...something that requires a fair amount of intelligence and courage.

Does not fit with these other attributes of his personality.

Unknown said...

For my own benefit I will not state the name of the city in which I live, but I work in an Apple store. Behind the scenes at the store each employee has his or her own mailbox/pigeonhole. A small, happy, and very cute cartoon of each pigeonhole holder is glued next to his/her very cute and very contemporary name.

Healthy but fun treats overflow in baskets and boxes in the lunch room. A simple instrument such as a bongo drum or 4 stringed instrument sits in a handy corner next to the white board. Described upon the white board is this week's lesson in diversity and equity.

It is a lunchroom hybrid of kindergarten and 6th grade. I could go on, but these people range in age between 20 and 39.

These people elect our rulers. Last year at this time the city had 4 murders. This year? 32.

David Foster said...

Unknown...It may not be coincidental that Apple calls its store-based customer service the 'Genius Bar'. On the one hand, seems pretty smart for recruiting purposes, but also, wonder if selects for some narcissistic personality traits.

Actual geniuses often have some playful attributes...Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, liked to ride his unicycle through the hallss of Bell Labs while simultaneously juggling 4 balls. Some people may have the cause and effect reversed, though.

Sam L. said...

Ahhhh, Prince Harry: Poor, poor, pitiful him. I'm sorry; my sympathy bank has run out, and I'm in the hole.

Anonymous said...

The whole idea of monarchy is repugnant. This preposterous charade is Darwinian. Harry is bonkers, and should shut the #%&$ up!

Megan landed easy prey, and now the Prince is in California for the 50% take. Any contest to the pre-nup would be the biggest thing in California since O.J. And anyone can file a lawsuit in America. This ain’t Old Bailey, baby...

As Murphy (the always-cunning Irishman) said, “It is immoral to allow suckers to keep their money.”

And congratulations to you, Stuart Schneiderman, a man who TRULY has been at the vanguard of this issue. Cheers!

Sam L. said...

I missed it yesterday, but I just remembered a phrase that describes Harry, which I shall not repeat.