On the Couch
Inside the Mind of the President
A Frank, M.D.
Posted July 8, 2004
USA $24.95 Canada $34.95
don't spend a lot of time trying to figure me out... I'm just not into
George W. Bush
all his simplicity and affability, George W. Bush has remained, to paraphrase
Sir Winston Churchill, "a mystery wrapped in and enigma." In "Bush
on the Couch, Dr. Justin A Frank, a well respected Washington D.C.-based
psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry, unwraps that mystery, assembling a
comprehensive psychological profile of President Bush.
Using the principles of applied psychoanalysis- the discipline of
psychoanalyzing public and historical figures pioneered by Freud- Frank
fearlessly builds his case... and reaches conclusions that are at once highly
persuasive and deeply disturbing.
Through a close analysis of Bush's public statements and behavior, as well as a
historical record provided by journalists, biographers, and those who have known
the President well, Frank traces the development of Bush's character from
childhood to the present day. Examining
closely the role of the president's parents- especially Barbara Bush, an
acknowledged disciplinarian whose own insecurities may have prevented her from
adequately nourishing her son- Frank finds in Bush's childhood the roots of a
dramatic psychic split that remains a dominant influence on his adult worldview. Frank argues that this split has inevitably hampered Bush's
ability to manage his emotions, charging his psyche with restless anxiety, and
conditioning him to view the world in the black and white terms that have so
evidently shaped his administration.
Among the other subjects Frank explores:
false sense of omnipotence, instilled within him during childhood and
emboldened by his deep investment in fundamentalist religion.
president's history of untreated alcohol abuse, and the questions it raises
about denial, impairment, and the enabling streak in our culture.
The growing anecdotal evidence that Bush may suffer from dyslexia, ADHD,and
other thought disorders.
comfort living outside the law, defying international law in his presidency
as boldly as he once defied DUI statutes and military reporting
love-hate relationship with his father, and how it triggered a complex and
dangerous mix of feelings including yearning, rivalry, anger, and
rigid and simplistic thought patterns, paranoia, and megalomania- and how
they have driven him to invent adversaries so that he can destroy
once a compelling portrait of George W. Bush and a damning indictment of his
policies, Bush On the Couch sheds startling new light on an
administration whose record of violence and cruelty seems increasingly dependent
on the unstable psyche of the man at its center.
Insightful and accessible, courageous and controversial, Bush On the
Couch tackles the questions no one seems willing to ask: Is our president
psychologically fit to run the country?
Justin A Frank
reading this book you'll understand why the Bush's are so afraid of
exploration of the president's persona will set your hair on fire- and
probably land this brilliant author in the federal witness protection
- Kitty Kelley, author of the
forthcoming The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
An eminent and
courageous psychotherapist offers us a penetrating account of the
psychological makeup of the most powerful man in the world.
It is compelling and persuasive and downright frightening.
Most readers will and this book stunned, asking themselves how it has
come about that we have chosen a leader so ill equipped for the job.
- Irving Yalom, M.D., emeritus professor of psychiatry,
Stanford University, and author of The Gift of Therapy and Love's
About the Author
A. Frank M.D., is a clinical professor in the Department of psychiatry at George
Washington University Medical Center. Since
1980 he has been a teaching analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.
He is past president of the Greater Washington Chapter of Physicians for
Social Responsibility. Dr. Frank lives
and practices psychoanalysis in Washington, D.C.