Healing from the Trump Presidency

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Pub Date 01 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 30 Mar 2021

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It doesn’t take a professional to see the chaos in which we’ve become mired, but a professional can help to make sense of what has happened and what lies ahead. Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency by Dr. Karyne Messina is an endeavor to contribute to the repair that is needed in our country.

From the perspective of a seasoned psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Karyne Messina, Trump’s behavior has encouraged the development of a generation of people inclined to hateful identity politics and bigotry, while also dismantling our country’s institutions and natural resources. To heal will take time, patience, and a willingness to take stock of our viewpoints and square them with divergent Ones.

It’s not so unusual anymore for families and friends who find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum to refrain from engaging in any sort of meaningful conversation for fear that such discussions will ruin already fractured relationships. It shouldn’t be that way.

Aftermath is a guide on how we can heal, with ideas on how each of us can help bridge the divide that has only grown deeper since Election Day in November 2016.

By using the knowledge and skills developed over three decades of treating patients for a wide range of psychological issues, author Dr. Karyne Messina brings hope about the clear route to healing in the aftermath of the destruction of the past four years.

Karyne Messina, Ed.D. is a licensed psychologist and board-certified psychoanalyst who has been in practice for over 30 years. Dr. Messina has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of mental health diagnoses as well as various learning issues. Aftermath is Dr. Messina’s second book.

It doesn’t take a professional to see the chaos in which we’ve become mired, but a professional can help to make sense of what has happened and what lies ahead. Aftermath: Healing from the Trump...

Advance Praise

From a college in the field of psychoanalysis:

"Wow, Congratulations! A superlative synthesis, and call to action! How do you write so many pages so quickly? Incredibly impressive...Love how psychoanalysis is currently evolving! I think your conceptualization of projective identification is very apt. The relentless gaslighting and denial that Trump employs-the most primitive defenses. He has managed to project his fear of germs into the outer world, such that our entire population is having to negotiate past a paranoid schizoid position during the pandemic, the fear of another who can infect us, hand washing, wariness of the stranger. Fences in the world outside, rather than recognizing the stranger within. In the case of Trump, his living in a perverse and anal universe, corrupting institutions, without collaborative know how, an inability to empathize or contain anxiety within domestic and foreign relations.

I think about leadership within Psychoanalytic organizations, institutes, and training programs. How processes of trauma or projective identification are often transmitted from generation to generation. It takes great trust and courage for individuals to engage in psychoanalytic treatment or training, given the fact that transference, countertransference, internalizations are ubiquitous in the consulting room, in supervision, where there is often a parallel process, in the classroom, within organizations, or nation-states. I have thought a lot about the ways projective identification within a dyad or group can go awry and create impasses with regard to ethnicity, race, or even ageism, ie what we let elders or adolescents hold for us.

From a Community psychoanalytic perspective, optimally we need to be able to engage in dialogue or Radical Openness, when bringing our symbolic couches, or ideas into the community, with any complex interpretations in line with where individuals or groups might be at a given moment, addressing or translating to well functionings egos, rather than speaking past consciousness to the unconscious in the town square to pull rank fettered by theory, or denying real feelings, in ways that can be received as gaslighting and derailing. I think Muriel Bowser was immensely psychoanalytic and able to mitigate potential unrest and emotion when she boldly painted the street Black Lives Matter and named the Plaza in front of the White House prior to an anticipated rally in Washington.

I appreciate your writing on Attachment and attachment trauma, introducing "redactional identification" and the necessity for openness and empathy for repair. The courage and compassion required to be empathic. Besides Character development, shared by most of our great religious traditions, psychoanalysis adds much value with knowledge about internalization, projective identification, mentalization, and reparation. I love your thanksgiving ideas with the four R's ,"remembering, repairing, reforming and reconciling."

From a college in the field of psychoanalysis:

"Wow, Congratulations! A superlative synthesis, and call to action! How do you write so many pages so quickly? Incredibly impressive...Love how...

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Featured Reviews

When you place a reality tv star in the highest office of the land you should expect no less than what was received. I for one never voted for this DT nightmare but I know my malignant narcissist family members have and thankfully this scapegoat of nearly 50 yrs seen through the smoke, fog, mirrors, lies, deceit, manipulation, gaslighting, blame and shame. Look it's quite simple: This is more of a mob rule mentality that placed this yo-yo in office and thankfully due to the Goldwater Rule I can't speak against this toxic individual's personality trait disorder that seems blatantly obvious to those with intellect, empathy, and compassion for their fellow man -woman-child. As for how this came about I can only say -VOTE- as it works and we're seeing those results in the 2020 Election Returns as we speak. We cannot allow anything of this magnitude to continue to bring out divisiveness, to defray the very fabric of our Constitution, nor can we allow our democracy to falter because DT feels he's above the law, he's far superior, he's the very thing our forefathers fought to exclude not give the keys to the White House to and sadly he will forever scar the entire process of integrity and leadership for all. A brief background on how I've come to honor women like Karyne E. Messina Ed.D is because I married and happily divorced a man I believe based on my masters education in criminal justice and research to be a malignant narcissist. I was married for 11 yrs and together 13 yrs with three kids from this union (though he had more kids during our marriage w/o my knowledge). My kids and I struggled to survive being tossed out of our home w/o income, assets, savings, credit, employment after 20 yrs of raising 3 kids and giving up career for my spouse, and w/o child support for over a year. Our first payment was $100 as we ate at local libraries and playgrounds receiving governmental aid to get by and make ends meet while waiting for family courts to play catch up and do their jobs. Sadly, that moment never came as he was 15k in arrears, emptied out 11k (forced to repay) and ultimately filed a special relief to have access to his home (illegal action as determined by judge) yet it didn't stop the delays, the false accusations, the reality that he'd go to any length to WIN. We see the very same today with false accusations of cheating, fraud, and voting irregularities and inconsistencies and in fact these two men met and exchanged pleasantries in a recent Fox campaign event as both are political/businessmen figures and both worked in DC. So, the moral of the story these con artists, don juan's, chameleons do not change their colors or their ways unless they realize and accept they are the problem. They never are held accountable, they lack responsibility, they cannot communicate effectively, and they have zero empathy or love even for their own families. They only care about, "The ONE" and their loyalty is demanded but not interchanged or extended outward. I pray this review finds everyone well as I now council others on my FB page, "The Lost Self Life After Narcissism" and hope with the current political flare that they pick this up and read this book as it was superb and right on point. The topics addressed in regards to healing, unity, peace, and rebuilding after the devalue and discard is as real as it gets. Thank you to Karyne, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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This is an invaluable resource in the search for how to bounce back from a Trump presidency. The author gives us ways to recover from the PTSD-like symptoms of four years of trauma, and is a n expert guide to mental and psychological recovery.

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Aftermath is a timely text and one that engages a sense of trauma and confusion that many readers face. Karyne E. Messina writes with perspective and expertise.

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