America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture

America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture

by Pythia Peay
America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture

America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture

by Pythia Peay


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What lies behind America’s historic romance with the gun? Why does it have such a troubled relationship with alcohol and drugs? Why is it so wedded to consumerism and so resistant to the evidence of climate change? What are its enduring myths about individuality, freedom, and independence, and how might we re-imagine our vision of the United States as the “Promised Land” and “The City on the Hill” to reflect a multiculturalism that offers “the last, best hope” for the world? In a two-decades long journey through the American psyche, depth journalist Pythia Peay has asked these and many more questions of no fewer than thirty-six of the world’s leading psychologists and psychoanalysts. From Robert Jay Lifton to Marion Woodman, A. Thomas McLellan to Judith V. Jordan, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to June Singer, and James Hillman to Mary Pipher, the thinkers in America on the Couch discuss violence, addiction, the environment, capitalism and consumerism, politics and power, and the soul of America. The result is a uniquely comprehensive, wide-ranging, and compelling kaleidoscope of insights into the psychodynamics of a hegemon in peace and at war, as it confronts the shadows of the American century and charts its way into an uncertain, multi-polar future. Featuring Stephen Aizenstat, John Beebe , Bonnie Bright, Gary S. Bobroff , Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Philip Cushman, Larry Decker, Raymond De Young, Edward Edinger, Michael Eigen, Stephen J. Foster, Charles Grob, Bud Harris, A. Chris Heath, James Hillman, Judith V. Jordan, Donald Kalsched, Robert J. Langs, Linda Schierse Leonard, Harriet Lerner, Robert Jay Lifton, A. Thomas McLellan, Thomas Moore, Ginette Paris, Mary Pipher, Ernest Rossi, Andrew Samuels, Erel Shalit, June Singer, Thomas Singer, Lawrence Staples, Murray Stein, Charles B. Strozier, Paul Wachtel, Karen B. Walant, Marion Woodman, and Luigi Zoja.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590564882
Publisher: Lantern Publishing & Media
Publication date: 04/15/2015
Pages: 616
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Force that Is America xi

Part I Violence in America 1

1 The Gun, the Bomb, and the Wound that Will Not Heal-An Interview with Robert Jay Lifton 11

2 The Illness that We Suffer: Why 9/11 Felt Like the End of the World-An Interview with Charles B. Strozier 23

3 America's Divided Soul-An Interview with Luigi Zoja 35

4 Confronting the Violence Within-An Interview with Michael Eigen 48

5 Transforming Violence through the Democratic Process-Within and Without-An Interview with Donald Kalsched 60

6 On the Battlefield of the Psyche: War and Trauma-An Interview with Larry Decker 74

7 Heartbreak and the Gods of Love and War-An Interview with Ginette Paris 87

Part II Addicted America 99

8 Dispelling the Myths of Addiction-An Interview with A. Thomas McLellan 107

9 That Which Hurts Can Also Heal-An Interview with Charles Grob 123

10 Dionysos: God of Alcohol-An Interview with Ginette Paris 141

11 Eating Disorders and America's Neglected Body-An Interview with Marion Woodman 151

12 America's Icarus Complex-An Interview with Linda Schierse Leonard 160

13 America's Empire-Plantation Complex: Workaholism and Addiction-An Interview with Ernest Rossi 170

14 What's Love Got to Do with It? How America's Independent, Self-Reliant Culture Fosters Addiction-An Interview with Karen B. Walant 180

15 Ancestors: The "Spirit in the Bottle"-An Interview with Stephen Aizenstat 191

Part III America's Vanishing Environment 203

16 We Are America-and We Are the Earth, Too-An Interview with Mary Pipher 211

17 That Which May Destroy Us May Also Save Us: Adapting to the Coming Downshift-Now!-An Interview with Raymond De Young 222

18 The Archetype of Waste-An Interview with Stephen J. Foster 237

19 Hungry and Homeless-Like the Bees-An Interview with Bonnie Bright 250

20 Crop Circles: Revelations of a New Planetary Myth-An Interview with Gary S. Bobroff 263

Part IV A Poverty of Meaning: Capitalism and Consumerism 275

21 Too Much Stuff, Too Little Happiness-An Interview with Paul L. Wachtel 285

22 The Changing American Self in an Era of Consumerism-An Interview with Philip Cushman 301

23 Is America's "Money Complex" Bankrupting Its Character?-An Interview with Thomas Singer 312

24 Still Keeping up with the Joneses-An Interview with A. Chris Heath 324

25 An American Awakening-An Interview with Lawrence H. Staples 334

26 Analyzing the American Dream-An Interview with Bud Harris 348

Part V Politics, Presidents, Power, and Polarization 359

27 The Politics of the Father as Leader-An Interview with Andrew Samuels 367

28 The United States of Empathy-An Interview with Judith Jordan 379

29 On Election Day, the Voice of the People Will Speak-An Interview with Murray Stein 392

30 Looking for Integrity in America's Political Leaders-An Interview with John Beebe 405

31 American Zeitgeist and a Shift in Ages-An Interview with James Hillman 425

32 The Politics of Anxiety-An Interview with Harriet Lerner 437

33 Trauma: The Hidden Power behind the American Presidency-An Interview with Robert J. Langs 444

Part VI The Soul of America: These Are the Times that Try Men's Souls 459

34 The "Great I Am": America's Mythic Blueprint-An Interview with June Singer 467

35 New Visions of the American Self-An Interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 472

36 What Do You Do with Tragedy and Depression in America?-An Interview with James Hillman 484

37 Washington, D.C.: The Political Soul of America-Interviews with James Hillman Thomas Moore 501

38 America's Narcissism: The Key to the Fulfillment of Our Myths and Ideals-An Interview with Thomas Moore 520

39 An Israeli Psychoanalyst Reflects on America's Myth of the Hero-An Interview with Erel Shalit 531

40 America: The Last, Best Hope of the World-An Interview with Edward Edinger 546

Acknowledgments 559

Dramatis Personae 563

Psychological Terms 577

Bibliography 583

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