Trump on the Couch

Inside the Mind of the President
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A great public service - critical for our time." (Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., Yale psychiatrist, expert on violence, and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump)

The New York Times best-selling author of Bush on the Couch shows that Donald Trump is mentally and emotionally unfit to execute the duties of president. 

No president in the history of the United States has inspired more alarm and confusion than Donald Trump. Questions and concerns about his decisions, his behavior, and his qualifications for office only seem to multiply with time. How can he behave so callously and irresponsibly? Does he pose a true danger to our country? How could he even have been elected? 

In answer, noted psychoanalyst Justin A. Frank takes a deep dive into the psyche of our president. Using observations gained from a close study of Trump's patterns of thought, action, and communication, Dr. Frank gives us a full portrait of the personality we saw on display during his remarkable campaign and helps us understand what has driven the decision-making during his first years in office. The result is filled with important revelations about our nation's leader and disturbing insights into his childhood, his family, his business dealings, and his unusual relationship with alternative facts, including how:

  • The absence of a strong maternal force during childhood has led to Trump's remarkable lack of empathy and disregard for women's boundaries (as well as his unusual hairstyle);
  • His compulsion to polarize America has grown out of the way he perceives the world as full of deceitful and destructive persecutors;
  • His inability to tolerate the pain of frustration has triggered his belief that omnipotence will finally remove it;
  • His idiosyncratic use of language points to larger issues than even his tweets might suggest.  

With Dr. Frank's penetrating examination of how we as a nation got here and, more importantly, where we are going, Trump on the Couch offers a candid assessment of the man who is arguably the most psychologically damaged president we have yet had.

©2018 Justin A. Frank (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"I've known Trump a long time and I have even tried my own hand at psychoanalyzing him on television. But, Dr. Frank has shown a more complete picture inside our 45th President's mind than I ever dared to consider. Behind all Trump's tough guy theatrics, his petty cruelties and bloated ego is a tangled knot of pathologies that should terrify us all. Trump on the Couch is a great first step to sizing up the President's inner demons.” (Donny Deutsch, cohost on MSNBC’s Morning Joe)

"Trump on the Couch has spared me the extra grief of hoping against hope that our President will change. Dr. Frank’s analysis helps explain the genesis of Trump’s bullying, cruelty, dismissiveness, sexism, sadism, narcissism and more to help us understand that very sick man. Now I can brace myself in a more efficient way - not teetering between disbelief and denial but accepting what is, and continuing to resist." (Joan Baez) 

“A breathtaking book! While I have maintained that a full psychological analysis is not possible from a distance, Dr. Frank has convinced me that there can be an exception. A rare convergence of top-tier clinical prowess and rigorous research into high-quality data, Trump on the Couch is thoughtful, accurate, and responsibly informative in ways that make it a great public service - critical for our time.” (Bandy X. Lee, MD, MDiv, Yale psychiatrist, expert on violence, and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

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Scary

I’ve read several books about Trump and the current administration. However, this was one of the scariest. Just to imagine this man with access to the nuclear codes is enough to cause terminal insomnia. And that is just one example. I understand that a definitive psychiatric diagnosis may be difficult or even impossible without directly communicating with the subject. But, if Dr Frank is just 10% correct, this book alone should suggest that we need somebody else in the White House. I won’t bore the reader with a diatribe about all the complicit people who support or fail to stand up to him. Suffice it to say that Trump represents the single biggest danger to this country and the world than we hav experienced in decades.

24 people found this helpful

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This book helped me make sense of it all.

My profession was in Psychiatry though now I am retired. I felt sure there was information in Trump's history that would help me understand at least some things about him., The author, Justin A Frank MD, did a lot of research about Trump's entire life. He clearly presents, based on the studies in the field of Psychology, some of the "cause and effect" things that are happening every day that bring chaos, pain and worry to the nation. Trump's actions, even the ones he takes that hurt him, come from the core of him. And if you have information about the core of him, how he was raised, how he related to his siblings, how his parents treated him and much more, it gives some explanations for the choices he makes. Dr Frank studied Trump's entire life. He interviewed people whose lives touched his. The information presented here helps me make some sense of our lives. I highly recommend this book.

24 people found this helpful

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What an Eye Opener!!

I’ve read quite a few books about Trump and this one is by far, the best. The author brought up ideas and thoughts that got to the bottom of Trump’s psyche. I would recommend this book for required reading for every American citizen. I now better understand just what we are dealing with with this deeply disturbed man, who is making a mess of our country!!

25 people found this helpful

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Another stunner

if you're not familiar with this author and you're an armchair psychologist, get thee this book.

If you're wondering "What the hell is it with the president??", this book's for you

3 people found this helpful

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Intelligent and insightful

I enjoyed being able to look at Trump’s behavior from another perspective. Read -it further confirmed my own studies (and intuition) about 45. And I was able to see much more of myself there than I could stand.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I thought it was insightful and based on science.
I wish it had been longer...very enjoyable.

7 people found this helpful

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Witten like an intelligence report

I was happy to learn this is not an isolated attempt at psycho-analyzing a president. Justin Frank writes a clear and understandable description of the adult Donald Trump's actions and desires based on his childhood and family relations. Much of his puzzling politics is made crystal clear. A fun read you won't want to put down.

6 people found this helpful

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Accurate

Being extensively trained in psychoanalysis, I can confirm most of his statements. I’ve mentioned it myself for decades: narcissistic personal disorders and Borderline has become a common diagnosis. And since Trump is just mirroring his folks, we can securely state, that ‘Houston, we as human society, have a serious problem.

Just as Freud, I consider nation states as entities that can eventually be diagnosed similar to individuals. And just like Germany 1933, those people who long for a canvas like Trump to project their desires on, large amounts of people, sometimes whole nations, there are pretty much people that are suffering just as ‘The Donald’. Can we fix that?

9 people found this helpful

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A well-written deep dive, but questionable theory.

Dr. Frank seems to be a very thoughtful and well-trained old school psychoanalyst, but I must say that I feel psychoanalysis itself is poorly founded. Nonetheless, the techniques of psychoanalysis require a deep investigation into a subject's past. In the case of Donald Trump, this deep investigation of his background includes a fair amount of information which I had not heard before. Dr. Frank has a number of insights which are not simply founded on Freudian or general psychoanalytic theory, so far as I know, including a very lucid description of Trump's linguistic issues and their ramifications. Ultimately, although I don't really agree with the underlined psychoanalytic theory, this was a valuable book and was well written and well performed.

2 people found this helpful

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Real Insight into Mr. Trump <br />

found it very interesting. enjoyed the audio book immensely
hope he doesn't get re-elected in 2020

2 people found this helpful