By Justin A., M.D. Frank
With the Bush management in everlasting difficulty, a popular Washington psychoanalyst updates his portrait of George W.'s public persona—and the way it has broken the presidency.
Insightful and obtainable, brave and debatable, Bush at the Couch sheds startling new mild on George W. Bush's psyche and its influence at the method he governs, tackling head-on the query few look prepared to invite: Is our president psychologically healthy to run the rustic? With a watch for the subtleties of human habit sharpened by way of thirty years of medical perform, Dr. Justin A. Frank strains the improvement of Bush's personality from formative years via his presidency, selecting and reading his styles of idea, motion, and communique. the result's a troubling portrait choked with vital revelations approximately our nation's leader—including demanding new insights into:
- How Bush reacted to the 2006 Democratic sweep in Congress with a brand new surge of troops into Iraq
- His telling conduct and coping strategies—from his power mangling of English to his tendency to "go clean" in the middle of crisis
- The tearful public breakdown of his father, George H. W. Bush, and what it says in regards to the former president's dating to his in demand sons
- The debacle of Katrina—the second while Bush's conceitedness eventually failed him
With a brand new creation and afterword, Bush at the Couch bargains the main thorough and candid portrait up to now of arguably the main psychologically broken president considering Nixon.
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Extra resources for Bush on the Couch, Rev Ed: Inside the Mind of the President
Its success rate is low—sometimes placed at 10 percent, sometimes even lower—but it still represents the best hope for recovery. Alcoholism is a potentially fatal, lifelong disease that is notoriously difficult to arrest permanently. Few alcoholics stay sober on their first attempt, and far more die of complications from alcoholism than achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. I will not treat an alcoholic who is still drinking unless he or she also goes to AA. I have found that active alcoholics are generally uninterested in self-knowledge and incapable of introspection; they value psychic and emotional comfort over the anxiety that self-examination can arouse.
Both grandiosity and shame are symptoms of the learning-disabled individual’s inability to construct an internal world that ref lects the complexities of life. Such a child’s inner world must be simple, because complexity causes anxiety; when shame is unresolved, compensatory grandiose self-images are allowed to thrive, and magical thinking spawns unrealistic notions that f lourish unchallenged. The material world is simplified to conform to his internal worldview. Listen to President Bush’s descriptions of the world in which he lives, and you’ll probably f ind that you make your life in a far more complicated place.
And this is hardly a surprise— among other reasons, because the anxiety of being president might pose a real risk of leading him back to drinking. Along with rigid routines go rigid thought processes—another hallmark of the Bush presidency. We see it in the stubborn, almost 44 BUSH ON THE COUCH obsessive way in which he holds on to ideas and plans after they have been discredited, from his image of himself as a “uniter, not a divider” to his conviction that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction (or, in absence of such weapons, that somehow “America did the right thing in Iraq” nevertheless).