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Mental Health Practitioners’ Petition Regarding the Current Political Climate

“We are experienced mental health clinicians whose expertise spans various disciplines: psychoanalysis, psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work and psychiatry. As psychotherapists we have privileged access to people’s inner worlds, including anxieties and other forms of distress they may keep hidden from others. We are deeply concerned by our observations that the erratic, negative and threatening tenor and actions of President Trump and his Administration are adversely impacting the psychological and emotional well-being of US residents.  Our purpose in this statement is to alert the public to clinically significant negative mental health consequences of ongoing behaviors by the Executive as well as the Legislative Branches of our government. We call on these leaders to desist in seeding fear and divisiveness in the public.”

This is the beginning of a petition to be signed by mental health practitioners throughout the country that is currently being circulated.  I’m very pleased that the institution I’m a member of wrote this petition, and I am very proud to sign it.  Like my colleagues, every day in my office patients talk about the increased sense of anxiety, depression and fear that they experience due to the policies and statements of the President and his Administration.  Every day I see evidence of the psychological turmoil that people are feeling given the sexist, racist and xenophobic statements and actions, not to mention recent war rattling, associated with this President.

While I do not believe that this petition will change the ways of the President, I am glad to take part with other clinicians to proclaim what we are seeing every day.  As a psychotherapist, my main task is to think with my patients about their lives internally and about the world externally.  The slogan that I like to use these days is “Make America Think Again.”  Hopefully this petition, which no doubt will collect thousands of endorsees, will help people who are emotionally and physically suffering from the corrosive climate in Washington feel less alone and better understand what is affecting them.  I hope that it will get people thinking and talking about these deleterious effects on the people of this country.

If you are interested in reading the petition, please click here.


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