Monday, February 8, 2021



Donald Trump’s behavior is encouraging the development of a generation of people inclined to hateful identity politics and bigotry, while also dismantling our country’s institutions and natural resources. Aftermath is a guide on how we can heal, with ideas on how each of us can help bridge the divide that has only grown deeper since Election Day in November 2016, due in part to the way Trump constantly shifts blame. This behavior is known in psychoanalytic circles as projective identification, a phenomenon people employ who unconsciously dislike something about themselves. Instead of taking responsibility, they blame those feelings, thoughts, or actions on others. Trump is an expert at this, and it’s hurting all of us.
To heal will take time, patience, and a willingness to take stock of our viewpoints and square them with divergent ones. It’s not so unusual anymore for families and friends who find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum to refrain from engaging in any sort of meaningful conversation for fear that such discussions will ruin already fractured relationships. It shouldn’t be that way.
Though rooted in psychoanalysis, Aftermath gets at the essence of projective identification as nurtured by Trump, and how we can combat its prevalence in order to once again engage in thoughtful, meaningful debate with those on opposite ends of the political rainbow without resorting to violent rhetoric.
We must demand that our leaders engage in a process that incorporates a respectful way of communicating between and among people. Aftermath shows the way.

Book Details:

Title: Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency

Author: Karyne Messina, Ed.D

Genre: psychology

Publisher: International Psychotherapy Institute (November 2020)

Print length: 388 pages



A few of your favorite things: my new Tesla, my engagement ring that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, Tesla ring that starts the car.
Things you need to throw out: old folders.

Things you need in order to write: time, time and more time.
Things that hamper your writing: friends who won’t get off the phone.

Things you love about writing: it’s creative, spontaneous, and fun to write down the sequence of thoughts that emerge in my mind.
Things you hate about writing: not having enough time to write on a full-time basis.
Easiest thing about being a writer: ideas come to me easily.

Hardest thing about being a writer: editing my writing.

Things you love about where you live: it’s peaceful, safe, and near family members.
Things that make you want to move: it’s not close to a river, lake or ocean.

Words that describe you: happy, satisfied, generous, kind, straightforward.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: someone who never goes on a vacation.
Favorite foods: pasta, seafood, paella, apricots.
Things that make you want to throw up: cilantro.
Favorite music: jazz.
Music that make your ears bleed: atonal music.
Favorite beverage: chi latte.

Something that gives you a pickle face: diet ginger ale.
Favorite smell: the ocean.

Something that makes you hold your nose: smells from the swamp.
Something you’re really good at: talking with patients.
Something you’re really bad at: tennis.

Something you wish you could do: play squash well.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: work so many hours a day.

Something you like to do: paint, blow glass.

Something you wish you’d never done: didn’t stay in touch with old friends.

Last best thing you ate: lobster.

Last thing you regret eating: a hot dog.

Things you’d walk a mile for: to save someone’s life.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: passive aggressive people.

Things you always put in your books: examples of blame-shifting since it is present in so many relationships.

Things you never put in your books: information about my patients.

Things to say to an author: keep trying; don’t give up.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: it’s easy to get books published.

Favorite places you’ve been: the Amalfi Coast.

Places you never want to go to again: parts of Florida.

Favorite things to do: boating, writing, painting.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: cleaning a boat.

Things that make you happy: gardening.

Things that drive you crazy: cleaning up after an adult.

Best thing you’ve ever done: had children.

Biggest mistake: selling Zoom stock.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: taking private pilot lessons.

Something you chickened out from doing: parachuting.

The last thing you did for the first time: drove a Tesla—it drives itself.

Something you’ll never do again: go on a roller coaster.


Karyne has written two books on the topics of misogyny and projective identification, with a third in the works. Her first book, Misogyny, Projective Identification, and Mentalization: Psychoanalytic, Social and Institutional Manifestations (Routledge, 2019), explored the genesis of hatred and ingrained prejudice towards women and the phenomenon known in the world of psychoanalysis as projective identification. In her second book, Aftermath: Healing from the Trump Presidency (International Psychotherapy Institute), she argues that we the American people were stuck in a toxic, psychologically harmful, four-year relationship with President Trump and offer ideas on how to heal.
Karyne is a licensed psychologist and certified psychoanalyst by the American Board of Psychoanalysis. She is a supervising and training analyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and is on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Karyne maintains a full-time private practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland, as well as memberships with the American Psychological Association, the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Washington School of Psychiatry, the American Board of Psychoanalysis, and the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Connect with Karyne:
Website  |  Twitter Instagram

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