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Bush on the Couch

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Writing this book may not have been the most responsible thing for a mental health professional to do. But I'm heading to Amazon right after this post:



"I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure me out," George Bush once said. "I'm just not into psychobabble."


The president will not need a shrink, then, to tell him he is unlikely to enjoy Bush on the Couch, a new book by a Washington psychiatrist and Democrat, who tries to explain his subject's quirks and policies by examining his personal history, and comes up with some unflattering conclusions.


Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, argues that the president's inclination to see the world in black-and-white, good-versus-evil terms, and his tendency to repeat favourite words and phrases under pressure, are not simply politics as usual, but classic symptoms of untreated alcoholism...


His book suggests the president's childhood trauma, the death of his little sister from leukaemia when he was seven, and his parents' decision to suppress their grief and not hold a funeral, left the young George burdened with guilt and unprepared to face the consequences of his actions.


And there was the competitive relationship with his father, which the author believes is a driving force behind an administration which has sought in many fields to distance itself from the first Bush presidency.


Prof Frank's prescription is for Mr Bush to join an Alcoholics Anonymous programme - and for him to be relieved of his high-pressure job.



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