“This might be the last chance we have at saving our democracy.” ~Jennifer Contarino 

This year, the personal is political AF. In service to your emotional wellbeing and the health of our democracy, my guest Jennifer Conterino, Psy.D and I are going there. Yup, we’re exposing the damaging effects that an egregiously dangerous personality has had on our collective psyche not to mention the will of a nation in desperate need of healing. 

And, oh boy, there’s plenty of material from which to draw! 

From years of petulant tweets to his most recent and most odious debate appearance, Trump anxiety disorder is real, y’all! Jennifer would know; she wrote a chapter on the subject for The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. 

Diagnosing the president is, of course, irresponsible as neither of us is his therapist. But diagnosis for our purposes is irrelevant. A person who gleefully couples capricious actions with bald-faced lies invites comparison to sociopaths and narcissists all on his own. Instead, we’re more concerned with how you’re doing. It’s no coincidence that being governed by this leader is akin to growing up under a narcissistic parent. Both scenarios leave their victims feeling unmoored and unsafe at best. At worst, these complex traumas repeat themselves, often manifesting as an inability to show outward empathy or inward compassion. 

In her book, Mary Trump, Ph.D makes a harrowing case for the Trump family’s intergenerational wounds. Unfortunately, those abusive characteristics learned in his early years – bullying, gaslighting, blatant disregard – are no longer just a family affair and are now deeply affecting our country. 

With the current administration’s survival strategies literally killing BIPOC and conditioning white folks to stay forever silent, is 2020 the wake-up call our country needs? Examining the motivation behind a dangerous huckster’s rise to power is one step toward reasserting our agency. Asking ourselves how we want to show up in service to democracy is another.  


Jennifer Contarino, PsyD has been a Licensed Clinical Psychologist since 2004 and is the President of Mindful Psychology Associates, a group therapy practice in Evanston, IL. She is the author of the essay “Trump Anxiety Disorder” in the 2017 New York Times best selling book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Mental Health Experts Assess a President. In addition to her clinical work and managing her practice, she writes, speaks, and presents about psychological topics such as sociopolitical stress and anxiety, coping with uncertainty, and emotional intelligence skills.


Mindful Psychology Associates




Here are some ways you can get involved and take action NOW:

Register to Vote

Swing Left ChicagoSwing Left helps you find the most impactful things you can do to help Democrats win the most important elections. 

Vote Forward – Participate in letter writing, encouraging US citizens to vote.

WisDems – Wisconsin Democratic organization committed to protecting the integrity of elections in this critical state. 

Ohio Democratic Party – Find ways to volunteer in this critical state. 


Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

Vote America

Rock The Vote

Voter Participation


Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Decolonizing Therapy for Black Folk


World Mental Health Coalition

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