Distress/conflict Related to Political Climate

The political climate in our country has been distressing to many Americans and it might be impacting your well-being in a variety of ways. Politics is intrinsic to who we are as human beings because we care about our community, our country, and the future for ourselves and for the next generation. We have ideas about human nature and hold values that inform how we believe our country and our communities should work. We are political beings, and our political health is part of our mental health, as individuals and communities.

  • Are you distressed by the political climate, uncertainty about the future, and/or feeling overwhelmed by social media and news coverage?
  • Have you experienced conflict and/or estrangement from family or friends due to political differences? Is there political tension in your workplace, religious setting, or other important parts of your community?
  • Are you struggling with confusion, hopeless feelings, feeling powerless, or alone? Feeling unclear or questioning your political identity or specific beliefs or wondering how to express your political beliefs productively?

How I Can Help

Your Political Well-Being

  • Exploration of your political identity, values, and beliefs and the life experiences that contributed to who you are as a political person.
  • Identify and better understand your emotional and physical responses to the political climate or to specific issues, and developing strategies to regulate your distress, rejuvenate your energy, and protect your well-being.
  • Assess for forms of political engagement that leave you chronically distressed and compromise your sense of agency (e.g., forms of social media, news coverage) versus forms of political engagement that empower you.
  • Identify forms of political engagement that reflect your values, allow you to utilize your abilities and expertise or experience, and account for the time and energy you need for other important areas of your life.
  • Expand your ideas of what political engagement can be to include anything that expresses the qualities you envision for the type of community you want for yourself and others.

Addressing Political Differences and Conflict

  • Learn ways to prioritize relationship building including ways to reconnect with important people in your life.
  • Identify and better understand your emotional and physical responses when your core political beliefs are challenged. Practice skills that can help you shift your mind and body from threat mode to curiosity.
  • Develop listening and emotion regulation strategies to engage productively in dialogue with people who hold different political beliefs with the goal of understanding and making yourself understood without the pressure to change each other.
  • Develop strategies for discovering common ground and developing trust and understanding to help heal painful conflicts regarding political differences.
  • Learn to challenge yourself in ways that bring you closer to others and expand your ways of thinking.

If there is someone in your life who you love and political differences are hurting your relationship, I offer dyad sessions to learn these strategies for better understanding each other, finding common ground, and accepting and learning from each other’s differences.