Dr. Helen

Using Sexual Abuse as an Excuse for Hating Trump

I get sick of all these absurd stories about therapists having to deal with all the sad, disturbed people who can’t tolerate having a Republican president. The worst part is listening to people who rarely mentioned panic and anxiety attacks when Bill Clinton was harassing women or worse. But somehow Trump talking about women has sent them into a full blown tizzy:

Amy-Lee Goodman, a rape survivor who lives in Boston, said she broke down after watching a tape last year of Trump saying, in a vulgar way, that he could grab women by the crotch. She only felt more upset when he denied subsequent assault allegations, and then even more so after the election.

“I just had to turn off the news,” said Goodman, 29. “It felt personal, like a personal assault against me, like this whole country had said what happened to me didn’t matter, what happens to so many women doesn’t matter.”

Julia Hochstadt, who is Goodman’s therapist, said many survivors of sexual violence had flashbacks and panic attacks because of the assault allegations against Trump during the campaign. Many saw their worst fear, not being believed, play out on the national stage, she said.

Maybe the therapist could ask these women if they felt the same way when they heard how Bill Clinton pawed and abused women. It would tell them a lot about why their clients are crying over Trump. If they were just as angry and panicked with Clinton as they are with Trump, then maybe their feelings related to their sexual abuse are real, but if it is only in response to Trump, then the real problem is hatred of Trump, and this is a different problem then some type of PTSD etc. concerning sex abuse.

If the real fear is that a Republican has been elected, then maybe the client needs to learn adaptation skills. Elections don’t always go one’s way — how do you cope with that? But that would probably be too therapeutic. No, it’s best to teach clients that they are victims who can’t cope with life without a big, strong (expensive) therapist to assure them that their darkest fears are true! Trump is evil, scary and might deport them.

It’s sad and disturbing that my profession has devolved into such a cesspit of partisan hackery. The scariest part is that with so many liberal therapists, how does a libertarian or conservative patient find someone who doesn’t secretly, or not so secretly, hate him?

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