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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Therapy Is No Longer a Politics-Free Zone

Peggy Drexler
The Wall Street Journal
Originally posted November November 23, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

A May 2018 survey published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology—which devoted an entire issue to how mental health professionals can understand and deal with the dramatic increase in clients feeling politics-related anxiety—found that of 604 psychotherapy patients from 50 states, only 32 percent said their therapist didn’t disclose their political beliefs, while 30 percent said their therapists divulged their views and the other 38 percent said their therapists very clearly made their beliefs known. “The old rules are pretty straightforward: Don’t talk about it,” says Dr. Steven Schlozman. a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “But our country right now is so about what side you’re on that almost every interaction people have these days is characterized by that.”

Full disclosure may be surprising, but it isn’t necessarily unwelcome. A 2018 poll conducted by market research firm Branded Research found that 61 percent of more than 8,000 therapy patients surveyed say it is “very” or “somewhat” important that they and their therapist share the same political values. Manhattan clinical psychologist Sarah Gundle, the co-clinical director of Octave, a “behavioral health studio” that opened in October offering individual and group therapy—including support groups for those feeling politics-related stress or anxiety—recalls a recent patient who wanted to know where she stood.

The info is here.

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