Eclectablog: Dr. Cruz on “Post Trump-matic Stress Disorder” and more

LIsten to this February 4, 2017  recording of Chris Savage interviewing Dr. Len Cruz on concepts including the Trump Complex, Post Trump-matic Stress Disorder, personal narcissism, and narcissism in our leaders:


You can also listen on the original podcast site, beginning at time stamp 47:00:

Click Here to Enter the Original Podcast (Dr. Cruz’s interview begins at 47 minutes in)

Asheville Citizen-Times Article on A Clear and Present Danger

Donald Trump is the best thing for America

Suppose this headline greets us on Nov. 9. Win or lose, the challenge before us with his candidacy is first to comprehend what is occurring and then to muster a meaningful response.

The book A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump, recently assembled by 18 psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and university professors who examined the subject of narcissism. To some, Trump’s ascendancy has been a spectacle worthy of Ancient Rome. To others, he offers a bastion of hope that America’s pre-eminence can be restored.

According to the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, we are all influenced by a personal unconscious comprised of material that for many reasons we repress and a collective unconscious comprised of forgotten or more universally represented material shared in common with other cultures and epochs. For example, recurring Trinitarian motifs exist in many world religions: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (Hinduism), Osiris, Isis, and Horus (Egypt), and Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Christianity). Jung proposed that these recurring ideas in myth, fairy tales and religion provide evidence of a collective unconscious domain.

Donald Trump is a galvanizing figure who tapped into something deep, collective and highly energetic. From a depth psychology perspective, the divisions and polarizations evoked by the 2016 presidential election provide an opportunity for transcending the opposites that Trump and Clinton revealed. The Divided States of America are more apparent today than a decade ago and we might do well to quit blaming Trump, Clinton or Obama. Trump may have provoked reactionary elements in the electorate, Obama and Sanders may have activated exuberant, hopeful progressive elements, and Clinton has stirred intense enmity that strikes some people as misogynist, but at most they exposed already existing elements in our society…..

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Is It Fair to Analyze Trump from Afar?

NY Times: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?

In the midst of a deeply divisive presidential campaign, more than 1,000 psychiatrists declared the Republican candidate unfit for the office, citing severe personality defects, including paranoia, a grandiose manner and a Godlike self-image. One doctor called him “a dangerous lunatic.”

The year was 1964, and after losing in a landslide, the candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, sued the publisher of Fact magazine, which had published the survey, winning $75,000 in damages.

But doctors attacked the survey, too, for its unsupported clinical language and obvious partisanship. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association adopted what became known as the Goldwater Rule, declaring it unethical for any psychiatrist to diagnose a public figure’s condition “unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

Enter Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 Republican nominee’s incendiary, stream-of-consciousness pronouncements have strained that agreement to the breaking point, exposing divisions in the field over whether such restraint is appropriate today.

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Trump Narcissism Featured by Bill Moyers

If Donald Trump Had a Selfie Stick, We’d All Be in the Picture

A psychoanalyst concludes that Trump is the modern incarnation of Narcissus — an intrusive, omnipresent and terrible-to-behold mirror image of America’s worst public face.

Because a single powerful leader will draw from the rest of us powerful projections ranging from savior to devil, from healer to destroyer, I have long been interested, as a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst, in the relationship between politics, mythology and psychology. For people like me, this is our year.

He is using the longest selfie stick in the world to project his face around the globe, stirring intense emotions in others with simplistic ideas about race, ethnicity, gender and national security…

Like many others, I didn’t take Donald Trump seriously at first. Then, while traveling in Australia in the spring, I saw a young man taking pictures of himself and his girlfriend using a long selfie stick that he used to place his iPhone right in a koala bear’s face. At that moment I thought of Trump. He is using the longest selfie stick in the world to project his face around the globe, stirring intense emotions in others with simplistic ideas about race, ethnicity, gender and national security — the ingredients of what in our field we call “the group psyche.” Unlike many political commentators, I spend a lot of time exploring the psyche of the group — what lives inside each of us as individual carriers of that psyche and what lives between us in our shared experience of swimming, so to speak, in the same waters of powerful collective emotions.

Each of us has taken a Trump trip over the past months — a nonstop rollercoaster ride: obsessive, compelling, endlessly dramatic and at times outrageous and terrifying. Sometimes it seems we have crossed over into a mad incomprehensibility — as with Trump’s recent suggestion that “2nd Amendment Americans” just might take care of Hillary Clinton…

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