Last week, billionaire investor Tom Perkins of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers sent a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal likening criticism of the 1 percent to Nazi attacks on the Jews. As Mother Jones puts it:
“He’s not an outlier. As Paul Krugman pointed out on Sunday, the rich have been lamenting the “demonizing” and “vilifying” of the 1 percent for years. “I…suspect that today’s Masters of the Universe are insecure about the nature of their success,” Krugman wrote. But the wealthy are not just afraid of losing their money to an angry middle class. Class warfare also makes the rich uncomfortable because they worry the non-rich are judging their character and personality by how much money they have, according to therapists who counsel the rich.
“I think that with Occupy Wall Street there was a sense of the heat getting turned up and a feeling of vilification and potential danger,” Jamie Traeger-Muney, a psychologist who counsels people who earn tens of millions of dollars a year, told Politico on Thursday. “There is a worry among our clients that they are being judged and people are making assumptions about who they are based on their wealth.”
“In 2012, Mother Jones reported on how banks, including Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, are increasingly hiring psychotherapists like Traeger-Muney to help their extremely wealthy clients deal with the complications that come with being extremely wealthy.Here’s a bit more of what wealth therapists can tell us about how the rich may be feeling right now:
‘Although wealth counseling has existed for years, the 2008 financial crisis really sent the aristocracy sprinting for the therapist’s chair. The 2010 Capgemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report, a survey that takes the pulse of zillionaires around the world, found that after the crisis, spooked clients were demanding “specialized advice.” Financial advisers must “truly understand the emotional aspects of client behavior,” the report warned… Continue reading “The stresses of being rich”
Cognitive behavioural therapy is more effective than standard care for people with hypochondria or health anxiety, say researchers writing in The Lancet.
As the BBC reported today, “In their study, 14% of patients given CBT regained normal anxiety levels against 7% given the usual care.
“The researchers say nurses could easily be trained to offer the psychological therapy. Between 10% and 20% of hospital patients are thought to worry obsessively about their health. Previous studies have shown that CBT, which aims to change thought patterns and behaviour, is an effective treatment for other anxiety disorders. But there is a shortage of specialists trained to deliver CBT, and as a result waiting lists can be long.
“In this study, 219 people with health anxiety received an average of six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy while 225 received reassurance and support, which is standard. After periods of six months and 12 months, patients in the CBT group showed “significantly greater improvement in self-rated anxiety and depression symptoms” compared with standard care, the study showed. There was also a particularly noticeable reduction in health anxiety in the CBT group straight after treatment began.
“The therapy was delivered by non-CBT experts who had been trained in only two workshops.Study author Prof Peter Tyrer, head of the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College London, said the results showed that hypochondria could be successfully treated, in a “relatively cheap” way, by general nurses with minimal training in a hospital setting. Reducing the anxiety levels of 14% of the CBT group might not seem a high figure, he said, but these were often people with serious problems who had sometimes spent thousands of pounds on private health assessments because of fears about their health. “Health anxiety is costly for healthcare providers and an effective treatment could potentially save money by reducing the need for unnecessary tests and emergency hospital admissions,” Prof Tyrer said. Writing about the study in The Lancet, Chris Williams from the University of Glasgow and Allan House from the University of Leeds, said the findings were “intriguing” but translating them into services was “problematic”. Continue reading “Cognitive therapy and depression”
New Jersey has joined California in a ban on conversion therapy.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Monday barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight, making New Jersey the second state to ban conversion therapy, along with California.
The move is the latest example of the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate steering a moderate course.
The governor said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, trump concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice. “Government should tread carefully into this area,” he said in the signing note, “and I do so here reluctantly,” reports SF Gate
“The decision marked another instance when Christie staked out a moderate position on a hot-button social issue as he seeks a second term in a Democratic-leaning state. It also offers more evidence that the popular governor is positioning himself as a pragmatist who shuns more conservative elements within his party.
“Christie found middle ground on medical marijuana for children when he agreed Friday to allow growers to cultivate additional strains, and for marijuana to be made in an edible form for chronically ill children. Last week, Christie vetoed a bill banning .50-caliber rifles that was vigorously opposed by firearms rights advocates and gutted a proposed overhaul of the state’s gun permit law. Recently, he signed 10 less significant gun measures the Democrat-led Legislature passed after last year’s deadly school shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. Continue reading “Christie signs conversion therapy ban”
It seems that people are spending less time on the therapist’s couch these days, due to economic pressures and the availability of alternative resources. An estimated 30 percent drop in the psychotherapy business in the past decade has sent many shrinks scrambling to find clients by “niche” marketing their services.
As essay in today’s New York Times Magazine tells the story of one such therapist. Opening paragraphs from “The Branding Cure: My So-called Career as a Therapist” appears below
“Since the 1990s, managed care has increasingly limited visits and reimbursements for talk therapy but not for drug treatment; and in 2005 alone, pharmaceutical companies spent $4.2 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising and $7.2 billion on promotion to physicians, nearly twice what they spent on research and development. Continue reading “Therapists turn to branding as demand drops by 30 percent”