Therapy discussions are composite descriptions of therapy conversations. They are not a transcription of a discussion with a particular client.
Yesterday , January 5, 2022, was quite a day in the office. In addition to the client who wanted to discuss the blue-footed booby bird, another client brought up "treason day." He said, "Ya know, Mr. Markham, tomorrow is treason day."
I said, "Really?", thinking that Martin Luther King, Jr. day is coming up but still a week away. "What's treason day?"
He said, "It's the first anniversary of the insurrection when Trump and his supporters tried to overturn the results of the election."
I said, "Oh yeah. Okay, I get it. What do you make of it?"
"Well," Bob said, "I'm beginning to understand better what some of the factors are that are fueling my anxiety and depression beyond the pandemic and climate change."
I asked as I have been taught to do as a good therapist, "Tell me more."
He said, "We are seeing the end of our democracy and actions to create a dictatorship in our country."
"Yeah," I said, "I guess there is an element in our country that no longer believes and adheres to the rule of law."
"Ya gotta have laws," Bob said, "or you get an autocracy. People have a choice and now is a good time to decide: democracy or autocracy.?"
"What is your choice,: I asked?
"I'm not a traitor to my country," Bob said.
"No," I said, "You seem true blue to me."
"Is that a play on words," Bob said laughing.
So with blue-footed booby birds and treason day I had quite a day yesterday. Today is quieter because I am just doing paperwork. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?
The "Big Lie" and other gaslighting techniques of those who cling to power and are sore losers significantly impact the mental health of people in our society. This gaslighting can be called "mystification." Mystification is when you are being lied to and your words and actions are being labeled negatively as if you are crazy not the perpetrator of the deceit.