"Bush on the Couch" (Mental health pros please weigh in)


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cuchulainn
August 3, 2004, 10:29 PM
I just heard an interview with Justin Frank (Clinical professor in psychology at George Washington University) who has written a book titled Bush on the Couch. Supposedly, Frank has psychoanalyzed Bush.

I haven’t read the book (and I probably won’t), but listening to Frank, I got the suspicion that he started off disliking Bush and worked backwards to get the negative results he desired. In the interview, Frank's points struck me as similar to stuff you'd hear on Democratic Underground or in a softball interview of Michael Moore -- only Frank uses his professional credentials to lend weight to the opinions.

In any event, I found it professionally unethical for Frank to publicly analyze someone based on second-hand observations (media clips and such). Perhaps the mental health professionals on THR could tell me if Frank’s actions could ever be considered ethical.

Indeed, Frank has come to some pretty specific “diagnoses” based on simply observing Bush on TV (see the excerpt below from the Harper Collins website). http://www.harpercollins.com/catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060736704) Bush's false sense of omnipotence, instilled within him during childhood and emboldened by his deep investment in fundamentalist religion

The president's history of untreated alcohol abuse, and the questions it raises about denial, impairment, and the enabling streak in our culture

The growing anecdotal evidence that Bush may suffer from dyslexia, ADHD, and other thought disorders

His comfort living outside the law, defying international law in his presidency as boldly as he once defied DUI statutes and military reporting requirements

His love-hate relationship with his father, and how it triggered a complex and dangerous mix of feelings including yearning, rivalry, anger, and sadism

Bush's rigid and simplistic thought patterns, paranoia, and megalomania -- and how they have driven him to invent adversaries so that he can destroy them

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SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI
August 3, 2004, 10:39 PM
This type of thing tells you more about the person doing the "analysis" than it does about the so-called subject.

rick_reno
August 3, 2004, 10:50 PM
I'm not worried about Bush - "we've turned the corner".

sendec
August 3, 2004, 11:18 PM
because of the public nature of Bush's position I wouldnt think that there would be an exceptional ethical problem - distasteful maybe, but probably not unethical. This happens pretty frequently with historical characters. Frankly, it is'nt that much different from any ad hoc analysis of any politician, look at the evaluations of Kerry's behavior floating around.

admar2
August 3, 2004, 11:38 PM
yeah, because obviously he can form a rational analysis of the man's mental health by listening to soundbites and observing body language.


what a clown.

cuchulainn
August 3, 2004, 11:47 PM
because of the public nature of Bush's position I wouldnt think that there would be an exceptional ethical problem - distasteful maybe, but probably not unethical. Hmm. Well, my concern has to do with the unethical behavior of analyzing someone without actually speaking with them and I'm not sure how Bush's public nature changes that. The sense I got was that this seemed to step beyond "ad hoc analysis" and into an attempt at diagnosis. That’s too far, IMO.

Pontificating that “Bush compensating for XYZ” is one thing. Putting forth detailed diagnoses propped up with one’s professional clout is quite another. Frankly, it is'nt that much different from any ad hoc analysis of any politician, look at the evaluations of Kerry's behavior floating around. I disagree. Yes, there are a lot of evaluations of Kerry out there, but I'm unaware of any clinical psychiatrists who are using their professional clout to attempt to disguise their attacks on Kerry as diagnosis. If there were, I'd be just as troubled.

Warbow
August 4, 2004, 07:45 AM
This guy is hopping on the "I Hate Bush" bandwagon to make some money. People have got to be in La La Land to think otherwise or that his book holds any merit whatsoever.

Another day, another clown.

JohnBT
August 4, 2004, 08:50 AM
I just heard on the radio that it's National Clown Week. Really I did. Really. Scout's Honor I did.

Meanwhile, it is impossible to psychoanalyze anyone without spending a significant amount of time with them. You can look it up.

John

molonlabe
August 4, 2004, 08:56 AM
Sometimes the only thing that separates the clinician from the inpatients is the key they fondle for security.:D

Warbow
August 4, 2004, 10:16 AM
JohnBT wrote:

just heard on the radio that it's National Clown Week. Really I did. Really. Scout's Honor I did.

LOL, it is. Who woulda thought. :D

SteveS
August 4, 2004, 11:54 AM
As a mental health professional (though not a psychoanalyst), I agree with the previous posts. You cannot evaluate someone effectively unless you can sit down with them face-to-face for a rather long time. Additionally, the person being evaluated should be honest and willing to be there.

At best, this guy is making educated guesses in regards to Bush and throwing in some "big words" to lend it credence. You could "analyze" anyone and make it look negative.

sendec
August 4, 2004, 12:05 PM
I should know better than to comment on a book I have'nt read. Should someone attempt to "analyze" Kerry, or Nader or Barney the Dinosaur in the same manner I will lend them the same credence, at least until I RTFB.

R.H. Lee
August 4, 2004, 12:35 PM
Justin Frank (Clinical professor in psychology at George Washington University)

Right there you've got someone with too many "unresolved issues" to count. Psychologists/Psychiatrists are some of the most mentally ill people on the planet. Why do you suppose they get into that pseudoscience to begin with?

Consider the source. :rolleyes:

halvey
August 4, 2004, 12:45 PM
I feel sadness for the trees killed to print that baloney on.

sendec
August 4, 2004, 04:40 PM
".....most mentally ill people on the planet?" People have (mistakenly) said similar things about gun owners. "Pseudoscience?" Where'd all that come from? What's your source?

nero45acp
August 4, 2004, 04:41 PM
I am a RN and for the majority of my career I've worked in the psychiatric field (I currently work the graveyard shift on a residential treatment unit).

There are tools/tests that are fairly accurate in evaluating an individual's personality. Watching sound-bites and having access to limited biographical data is not a accurate or reliable method of evaluating someone (psychiatric or otherwise).

I suspect that this is a case of a psychoanalyst using his profession to forward his political ideology, and make some money while he's at it.:scrutiny:



nero

RobW
August 4, 2004, 04:54 PM
The "Liberal" intolerants are shaken to their core. They'll try ANYTHING to discredit the President, because there is nothing positive to talk about their "Candidate".

It's just politics. And the more they try, the better for the Repubs. Their assault on the president is soo clear, they cannot fool anyone.

Only the Clinton-Machine leans back, relaxes, and prepare Hillary for president in 2008.

RON in PA
August 4, 2004, 05:01 PM
Psycho-babble.

goalie
August 4, 2004, 05:02 PM
Wow, and to think that I thought you actually had to talk to someone and ask them specific questions and all of that jazz to even begin to psychoanalize someone. Whoudathunkit?

I'll be sure to let A&R know next time I have a psych patient in the ED.

:rolleyes:

ojibweindian
August 4, 2004, 05:32 PM
Shrinks, :rolleyes:

TheEgg
August 4, 2004, 06:30 PM
Gee, neat. Now we know that all that time spent with a patient, hours, days, weeks, months, sometimes years, is un-needed. You don't even need to meet someone, even once, to be able to diagnose them!!!!

I am sure all members of the psychiatric profession, even as we speak, are drawing checks up to refund most of the money that patients have given them over the years for this unneeded time. :rolleyes:

Monkeyleg
August 4, 2004, 07:46 PM
Back in college, I gave some thought to becoming a psychologist...until I realized that most of the psych majors were themselves crazy, as were the professors.

Another fruitcake looking for his 15 Warhol minutes.

cropcirclewalker
August 4, 2004, 07:57 PM
I concur with MonkeyLeg. When I was in college I thunk about being a psych major. Then I figured out that I was crazy.

Now that I am sane, I can see the insanity of the whole thing.

What did Henry the K say? "Anybody in DC that is not paranoid is crazy." :p

TallPine
August 4, 2004, 08:08 PM
You know, there are plenty of bad things to say about Bush (or Kerry) without making up organic fertilizer like this psychobabble. :barf:

Why can't people just stick to the issues and a candidates track record?

antsi
August 4, 2004, 11:59 PM
Well, I work in OB-GYN and my diagnosis of Kerry is that he has purulent vaginitis.

This so-called "psychoanalysis" is diagnostically meaningless. It is just a liberal with a degree whining about the President.

sendec
August 5, 2004, 01:31 AM
Y'all realize you are making generalized unspecific complaints without benefit of evidence about a guy who is making generalized unspecific complaints without benefit of evidence about another guy, don't you? And are'nt "sheeple", "blissninny" and "hoplophobe" examples of psychobabble? Was'nt it Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, who said something about the fear of weapons being a sign of sexual immaturity?

:D

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