There's hope for Ingrid, after all

Florida Kerry supporters meet for group therapy Voters shout epithets at President Bush during first PEST counseling session
Published Thursday, December 2, 2004 at 6:00 pm by Sean Salai
Twenty John Kerry supporters met for their first group therapy session in South Florida Thursday, screaming epithets at President Bush as they shared their emotions with licensed mental health counselors. The first of several free noontime therapy sessions at the American Health Association in Boca Raton was designed to treat what mental health counselors have dubbed Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST). "If I had a cardboard cutout of President Bush, and these people wanted to throw darts at it, I would let them do it," Robert J. Gordon, AHA executive director, told the Boca News after the session. "It's no joke. People with PEST were traumatized by the election. If you even mention religion, their faces turn blister-red as they shout at Bush." Although the meeting was closed to the press, AHA therapists obtained permission from participants to provide an anonymous transcript to the Boca Raton News. "I'm scared," said one man. "Democracy is at stake and nobody is rising to protest this president." "I want to be a patriot, but it's impossible to be a patriot in an immoral war," said another participant, a woman. "Bush is breaking up marriages and dividing families by keeping our troops in Iraq." Gordon said the participants also granted reluctant permission to open up next Thursday's meeting to the general press. Reporters will be forbidden from taking photographs or using the real names of patients. "The media outlets, especially Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on talk radio, scare our patients to death," said Gordon, facilitator for the meetings. "More than anything else, people with PEST tremble physically." Gordon said the Kerry supporters in therapy are predominantly Jewish and older than 50. Most are registered independents and all live in Palm Beach County. "We mostly let them vent during the first session," Gordon said. "By the third session, we'll be doing some meditation exercises to aid some of their symptoms. We may use visualization and some techniques designed for bipolar disease and other mental disorders. That might help them adjust to reality." According to AHA officials, symptoms of PEST are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. They include nightmares, sleeplessness, hostility, listlessness, and emotional outbursts including threats to leave the country. "There's an overall sense of emotional helplessness and abandonment," said Sheila Cooperman, a licensed AHA psychotherapist from Delray Beach. "In psychology, we call it 'learned helplessness.' After you zap a caged dog twice, he stops moving because he knows there is no place to go. That's what happened with these Kerry voters. They've been zapped so many times that they're on the verge of giving up on politics." Cooperman, also a practicing psychic, added, "One person today said he thinks the country is now run by fascists. Another felt personally threatened by the president's love for big business. Many believe Bush is going to draft their grandchildren. The anxiety may not affect them every day, but it affects their energy level." An additional 30 people are signed up for two other AHA election support groups, which will meet for the remainder of the year and possibly beyond. Gordon said his patients' emotional problems typically started with the "hanging chad" debacle of 2000. "First, they need to realize they're not going to overturn the 2004 election," Gordon said. "They have to live with it. The problem is they have no faith because they think the religious right has hijacked the political system. We try to tell them there is still an election in 2008. You can't just give up and be apathetic." The AHA, using a holistic approach to health that has been mocked as new age voodoo by some national talk show hosts, has stressed to patients that their post-election emotions are normal and deserve to be taken seriously. "These people talk about the 2000 election being stolen," Gordon said. "They talk about Theresa LePore and the Ohio recount. They feel it's the 'Right House,' not the White House. They feel the world is not safe with George W. Bush as president. They spewed out a lot of anger. They are angry at the Democratic Party for being aimless and leaderless. They have a right to these feelings." The Boca Raton News first reported on Nov. 9 that depressed Florida Kerry supporters were seeking trauma therapy in the wake of the Nov. 2 presidential election. One Boca psychologist alone, Douglas Schooler, eventually treated 20 Kerry voters with intense hypnotherapy - for a sliding fee. The trauma specialist, whose bills were covered by clients' insurance companies, was later accused by some colleagues of unethically "cashing in" on the misery of Kerry voters. In interviews with the Boca News, Schooler said many of the Kerry supporters had visited him for severe mental problems prior to the election. Unlike Schooler, the AHA is a registered Florida non-profit and its therapists do not charge for sessions. Conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh recently offered their own "free therapy," irking the AHA counselors.
Sean Salai can be reached at snipped-for-privacy@bocanews.com or 561-893-6427.
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nahhhh... I have been politically involved since I was 5 on my first peace march with my parents. I even ran for congress in 1992. I am 3rd generation politically involved and have taken a very long view. America will join the civilized world one day. Civilization is firmly entrenched in Europe. not to say there arent setbacks to civilization all over just like what has happened here. the other hopeful sign is that there is Canada, a civilized country right to the north. Americans who cant take it are more or less welcome in Canada, altho I dont like hearing Canada wont protect draft evaders anymore. I think their civility will win out and they will in the end.
Americans would like to believe that we are the greatest country in the world, but as more and more people have internet access it will dawn on them that we arent really civilized, that we are rapidly sinking into third world status with our only "products" to export is raw materials. I really, really gotta start a blog of some kind. for example I would like to create a list of "unoutsourcable" jobs for kids in high school to think about training for. jobs that are a livable wage. Of course all these jobs can be wiped away in a heartbeat if they pass legislation making it legal to import people to fill jobs in the US that cant be filled with citizens.... oh.. wait... I forgot, we got that law already. all a company has to do is list the job at wages nobody will work for, then when nobody applies they bring somebody over who will. Ingrid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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As a useful idiot in the Blame America First Party, no doubt.
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IntarsiaCo wrote:

ROTFL!!!!!
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LOL. They' got plenty of those but not many useful ones.
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