Monday, November 15, 2004

It just keeps on getting better

First post-therapy Kerry supporter speaks out publicly:

A post-therapy John Kerry supporter spoke out about her trauma treatment for the first time this weekend, saying Florida psychologist Douglas Schooler took her from the depths of despair over President Bush’s victory to a new lease on life.

Forty-four year old Karen of Boca Raton, a divorced mother of one who didn’t want her last name in print, called the trauma specialist’s intensive election therapy “profoundly effective” and described his hypnosis technique as “a healing process.”

Soon to be an annoying TV commercial, I'm sure.
“I wasn’t sleeping,” Karen told the Boca Raton News in an interview. “I was very devastated and very astonished that people would re-elect this president. I was moody about the war and economic issues. I felt very unsettled and fearful. I thought, ‘Oh no, what will happen for four years?’”

Karen, whose medical insurance covers the treatment, said she approached Schooler last week after finding herself unable to function publicly due to President Bush’s re-election.

“Dr. Schooler absolutely understood the pain this election caused me and he opened my mind to a new point of view,” Karen said. “You’re relaxed, he talks to you and you just come out of it feeling more positive and renewed. It took one session. He did some relaxation techniques and probably did some things I didn’t even realize.”
Ruh oh!
A Schooler client for seven years, dating back to her divorce, Karen said the doctor helped her realize it had been unhealthy for her to expect Kerry to win.
Karen sounds like a cash cow.
“One woman I treated the other day said the election triggered other issues in her life,” Schooler said. “Stuff she had been working on for a long time became worse. That’s pretty common in trauma cases: A small thing like an election triggers longstanding mental problems.”

He said it, not me.
In addition to Schooler’s one-shot hypnotherapy, more than 30 people have called the non-profit American Health Association at 561-361-9091 to sign up for free support group therapy.

Executive Director Rob Gordon said Friday that AHA’s first election support group is scheduled for after Thanksgiving. The Boca-based charity, which has more than 500 professional and non-professional volunteers in Palm Beach and Broward counties, is offering the free sessions through the end of the year.

“I’ve been talking to people and coaching them on the phone,” Gordon said. “Most are older than 50 and their mental issues stem from the 2000 election.”
Bwahaha! And likely before the election too, but I guess I'm just one of the spoilsports:
Since the Boca News broke the election therapy story on Monday, Gordon said he had been flooded by calls from Republicans who don’t take the trauma seriously. However, he said he received a phone call Friday afternoon from FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly and expects to defend his diagnosis on The O’Reilly Factor next week.

A psychologist at the Boca-based Center for Group Counseling, whose spokeswoman last Monday was referring depressed Kerry voters to the Democratic National Committee, said he thinks AHA and Schooler are unethically using the Kerry supporters’ misery for self-promotion.

“The word ‘trauma’ is overused and I haven’t seen Kerry voters traumatized according to the existing definition,” said William A. Weitz, adult program manager. “Certainly we’ve had people discussing their responses to the election at regular support group meetings, but the idea you would use hypnosis on them doesn’t make sense to me.”

Boca Mayor Steven L. Abrams, a Republican, said post-election therapy is “more of the same” in a city where people already spend tens of thousands of dollars a pop on plastic surgeons, beauticians and matchmakers.
I wonder if they would like some Brie with their whine?