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By Justin A., M.D. Frank

With the Bush management in everlasting predicament, a well known Washington psychoanalyst updates his portrait of George W.'s public persona—and the way it has broken the presidency.

Insightful and available, brave and arguable, Bush at the Couch sheds startling new mild on George W. Bush's psyche and its impression at the approach he governs, tackling head-on the query few look keen to invite: Is our president psychologically healthy to run the rustic? With an eye fixed for the subtleties of human habit sharpened through thirty years of scientific perform, Dr. Justin A. Frank lines the improvement of Bush's personality from formative years via his presidency, picking out and studying his styles of notion, motion, and communique. the result's a troubling portrait full of very important revelations approximately our nation's leader—including stressful new insights into:

  • How Bush reacted to the 2006 Democratic sweep in Congress with a brand new surge of troops into Iraq
  • His telling behavior and coping strategies—from his chronic mangling of English to his tendency to "go clean" in the course 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 fashionable sons
  • The debacle of Katrina—the second while Bush's vanity eventually failed him

With a brand new advent and afterword, Bush at the Couch deals the main thorough and candid portrait to this point of arguably the main psychologically broken president considering Nixon.

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Bush’s approach to early fatherhood was characterized by an endless series of absences. And when he wasn’t traveling for business, his famously reserved public persona offers ample reason to believe that he was still detached and unavailable at home. As George would say years later to Yale roommate Clay Johnson, whose parents served as “surrogate parents” to George: “My father doesn’t have a normal life. ” Johnson “could see that Bush felt that he didn’t have ‘normal access’ to his father—but that he wished he had,” Minutaglio adds.

M hroughout this book, I’ll discuss how this basic dynamic resonates through so many of the choices Bush has made in adulthood and continues to make as president. While he was still a child, however, Bush experienced a watershed event that further shaped his worldview. The death of a young sibling is inevitably a defining moment in the life of a child. , the tragic blow to the family was perhaps matched in its impact on the boy’s development by the family’s response to it, which was fuel to the psychological fire that raged unnoticed in the child’s underdeveloped psyche.

Perhaps the appeal—other than political selfpreservation—is as simple and universal as the common desire to get away with something. But blame and denial take on a different resonance when seen from the Kleinian perspective. Blame is in fact a reminder of one’s destructive impulse; the individual who hasn’t resolved his anxieties surrounding that impulse is particularly motivated to avoid confronting those anxieties, which he can accomplish by shifting responsibility to someone else, or denying it outright.

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