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Trump Therapy: Personal Identity, Political Trauma and the Contradictions of Therapeutic Practice

Sointu, Eeva ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7495-2096 and Hill, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3849-1170 (2020) Trump Therapy: Personal Identity, Political Trauma and the Contradictions of Therapeutic Practice. European Journal of Cultural Studies. (In Press)

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The election of Donald Trump as US President in 2016 has been felt by some as a political trauma. In response, this trauma has been worked through using therapeutic talk and practice. In this article we examine the media representations of these responses across a wide range of news sources in order to understand the way that attitudes and values regarding the politicisation of therapy are captured, reinforced and shaped. It is shown that therapy provides a legitimate ground for self-management of feelings of political hurt; that this is seen as valuable for the formation of political communities of action and resistance; and that it then comes under attack from the right precisely because of this community-forming function. Criticism of therapeutic engagement emerges as a rhetorical means of disrupting solidarity and silencing political dissent. It is concluded that these representations need to be situated within the contradictory character of a therapeutic culture that heals and empowers individuals as it situates subjects within medicalised and neoliberalised structures of power.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: York Business School
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4801

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