American Politics In The Age Of Trump: A Psychoanalytic Town Hall | 01/12/2019

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SKU: 19-0112/Wolson Category:


Peter Wolson, Ph.D.

Saturday, January 12, 2018
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Community West Treatment Center
1990 So. Bundy Drive, #320
Los Angeles, CA  90025
(Parking available in building)

This Course is Approved for 3 CE/CME’s

Program Committee
Chair:  Thomas P. Helscher, Ph.D.
Lisa Crilley, M.F.T.
Kerry English, MFT
David Hayes, MFT
Sandra Wilder-Padilla, Ph.D.


Peter Wolson, Ph.D. is a training and supervising analyst and faculty member of the Los Angeles Institute and Society For Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS). He has served as LAISPS’s President and Director of Training, is a co-founding member of the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) and was President of the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists. He is on the resident faculty of the Wright Institute Los Angeles and in private practice in Beverly Hills. In addition to his political opinion pieces, he has published professional papers on adaptive grandiosity, the existential dimension of psychoanalysis, the relational unconscious, analytic love, and political power.


For the last two years of the Trump administration, Americans have been jarred daily by a shocking barrage of tribal warfare between Republicans and Democrats and by virulent expressions of hatred, including homicidal violence.  Flagrant misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, gender bashing, tariff wars, and scurrilous attacks on the press, immigrants and Muslims have proliferated in a regressive political climate of character assassination, conspiracy theories and lies.  Yet the economy appears to be booming, and President Trump remains extremely popular among Republicans and his base. In contrast, Democrats are struggling to find strong leaders.

How can we explain Trump’s popularity in light of his flagrant narcissism and insulating behavior while being investigated for collusion and obstruction of justice?  What psychodynamics have motivated this frightening regression of America’s morality, ethical integrity, and reality testing?

Dr. Peter Wolson believes that a psychoanalytic perspective is essential to illuminate these crucial issues in the public political dialogue.  Since 1972, he has ventured beyond the couch and published numerous psychoanalytically-informed op-ed pieces for the Los Angeles Times and journal blogs for the Huffington Post, Thomson Reuters and CounterPunch on the “breaking news of the day.”  These articles are included in his new book, Psychoanalysis Enters The Political Fray, in which he demonstrates the enduring, repetitive nature of unconscious political psychodynamics.  In his book, he encourages mental health professionals to join him in deepening public awareness by sharing their psychological wisdom with the American public through opinion pieces in newspapers and blogs.  Dr. Stefano Bolognini, Past-President of the International Psychoanalytical Association, said “Peter Wolson has been a pioneer and is now a master in looking at political characters and issues with a psychoanalytic perspective.  He courageously goes into a new important area in the psychoanalytic exploration of human reality, and starts a potentially revolutionary contribution of our science to the community culture and life.”

Target Audience

This program meets the needs of all mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Cultural Sensitivity

The workshop will focus on diverse political and cultural perspectives.


Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Identify unconscious psychodynamics motivating the political psyche.
  • Demonstrate how psychoanalytic understanding can deepen awareness of political issues.
  • Apply psychodynamic concepts to explain issues such as political gridlock, misogyny, the appeal of the strongman, contempt for a caretaking government, racism and hatred of the “other,” the political use of insults vs. reason, etc.


12:30-1:00 Registration

1:00-1:10 Introduction

1:10-2:15 Contemporary Political Analysis, Dr. Peter Wolson

2:15-2:30 Coffee Break

2:30-3:45 Political Town Hall Discussion*.

3:45-4:00 Concluding Reflections

* Method of the Town Hall: After sharing his analysis of American politics past the midterms, Dr. Wolson will moderate a psychoanalytic “town hall.” He will provide a brief description of each political issue and then facilitate discussion. The organic flow of the Town Hall will continuously vacillate between the expression of political opinion, feelings and beliefs and then return to a more neutral, objective state of mind for the purpose of speculating about deeper psychodynamic implications.

(The opinions expressed by Dr. Wolson are solely his and do not represent those of LAISPS.)


Important Disclosure: None of the planners or presenters of this CME/CE program has any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Designation Statement

Accreditation Statement: LAISPS is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. LAISPS takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Physicians: LAISPS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certificate in Continuing Medical Education.
Psychologists: LAISPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. LAISPS maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists: The Board of Behavioral Sciences no longer approves CE providers. However, LAISPS is approved by the APA to provide CE hours and the BBS will accept these hours for CE credit.

Please Note:

  • Participants must complete an online evaluation within 2 weeks of completing this CE/CME activity in order to receive credit.
  • According to APA guidelines, CE credit can only be awarded to psychologists for full attendance