In Praise of Indignation.

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  • Author(s): West, Harper ()
  • Source:
    Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Jul2020, Vol. 60 Issue 4, p532-547. 16p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      As a survivor of interpersonal violence and expert in recovery from relational abuse, I instinctively reacted with indignation when I recognized Trump as an abusive personality. Indignation advocates righteous anger in opposition to immoral, disgusting, or unfair behavior aimed at reducing the dignity of others. Accessing indignation to confront abusers is essential for the health of interpersonal relationships. In the same way, I had a moral obligation to be a truth-teller about Trump in service of the country. Prosocial emotions help manage antisocial behaviors universally judged as nonreciprocal. When Trump's mental health was first discussed, I predicted it would be frustrating, because the medical model of psychiatry has lost its way in many regards, notably its disavowal of the role of emotions. Evolution designed emotions as essential guides for healthy human relationships. A case formulation model I designed advocates identifying those like Trump as other-blamers —people with low self-worth who manage shame and social downranking by blame-shifting. They are attracted to partners with low self-worth who readily accept blame (self-blamers). The profession should educate on the power of shame, the widespread harms of narcissistic abuse, and help clients access indignation and assertiveness. Moral elements should be reintegrated into psychology. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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