Is the ‘Trump Effect’ damaging our psyches?


(CNN)We have a bully in our midst, some therapists and school counselors say, traumatizing the most vulnerable of us. That bully is the 2016 presidential campaign, including the so-called “Trump Effect.”

Throughout his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a wall between the United States and Mexico, a ban against Muslims entering the country (since revised), and other “tough talk” that therapists say is creating mental distress among many Americans. Most recently, a videotape recorded by Access Hollywood showed Trump discussing women in lewd terms, which he later characterized as “locker room talk.”
    “Now, he describes his feelings as like the movie ‘Jaws,’ ” Blank said. ” ‘Just as I felt it was safe to go back into the water, Trump arises,’ he told me. He tells me he fears his hard-won human rights can be overturned by this man and the hate he is preaching.”
    “What can we do to help our clients?” Seal asked. “I tell them to budget their media time, particularly social media. Go on a media diet of some kind, talk to friends and then take action. Go door-knocking for your candidate.”
    Blank agrees. “First, give them a platform to discuss their fears and anxieties and reduce alienation from friends and families. Second, tap into that anger and outrage and give them a direction, to empower them and give them something to do.”
    Costello says teachers are using similar techniques to help students cope.

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    “We encourage kids to be more critical consumers of media, including social media, and to make good decisions,” Costello said. “For the younger kids, teachers are not looking at the candidates in the classroom, focusing instead on the process of voting, reasons for voting.”
    But in middle and high school, teachers can’t do that, said Costello. The students are too exposed.
    “So instead, teachers are focusing on the rhetoric and analyzing it,” she said. “On the positive side, the kids are engaged, talking about what is on the news.
    “The downside is that they have seen the ‘Access Hollywood’ video.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/14/health/trump-effect-damaging-american-psyche/index.html

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