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Bryant Welch

Entries by Bryant Welch

Heroism Defeats Torture at the American Psychological Association

(3) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 11:18 AM

by Bryant Welch, J.D., Ph.D.

It was the stuff of heroes. It was "All the King's Men", "The Coal Miner's Daughter", and "The Insider" all wrapped into one.

American Psychology, long battered and embarrassed by the horrific support of torture by its elected leadership and executive staff at the American...

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The Torturer's Apprentice: The APA and the Intentional Infliction of Pain

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 2:00 PM

It is a strange morning.

Almost surreal.

For twenty-five years, first as an APA insider designing and running the American Psychological Association Practice Directorate and, later, as an external critic, I have borne witness to the evil in the inner workings of the APA.

Now, the whole...

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Torture, Fear, and American Psychology: An Insider's Perspective on the Debacle Within the APA

(10) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 3:15 PM

I spent almost 20 years inside the inner sanctum of the American Psychological Association. A psychologist and attorney, I was the first Executive Director of Professional Practice for the APA and in 1986 built much of the advocacy structure still in place to advocate for clinical psychologists. During that period...

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Pete Rose's Crown of Thorns

(23) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 1:02 PM

"Let the punishment fit the crime" is more than a legal maxim. It explains why in Western culture we do not chop off a man's hands when he steals a loaf of bread and why we do not stone a woman to death for committing adultery.


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Vets with PTSD: When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again--Tell Him to 'Think Positively

(4) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 2:15 PM

Johnny was a Vietnam War vet and one of my first patients. He had had over four dozen surgeries in a heroic effort by the Veteran's Administration to transform him from a hideously disfigured victim of shrapnel to a somewhat less hideously disfigured victim of shrapnel. There was no question...

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The Right Mental Health Care for Returning Vets: Neglecting Them This Time Will Be Dangerous

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2009 | 2:54 PM

A blog I wrote earlier this week was challenged by Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, in a piece published Tuesday in the Huffington Post.

I appreciate Dr. Seligman's response. Dr. Seligman admits he provided the training I alleged he did to the CIA when it was developing...

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Fort Hood: A Harbinger of Things to Come?

(24) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 12:43 PM

The Army knew that Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan was shouting political and religious harangues to patients during his therapy sessions at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

When that happens in a psychiatric setting, it is time to radio Houston that we have a problem.

Instead of...

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Fox News is Not Just Biased -- It's a Cult

(19) Comments | Posted October 29, 2009 | 3:14 PM

The danger Fox News poses to America is not that it is a biased or partisan arm of the Republican Party, as the Obama Administration contends. Fox is a danger because it is a cult and uses the same destabilizing psychological techniques cults use to undermine the independent functioning of...

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America's Paranoid Crisis: The Joe Wilson Case

(27) Comments | Posted September 23, 2009 | 12:44 PM

I hate to name drop, but Joe Wilson is my Congressman.

As a psychologist it is not the disrespect for our first African American president shown by my congressman that has me concerned. Instead, it is the potential breakdown of paranoid defenses behind his behavior that worries...

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How the Real Death Squads Work

(9) Comments | Posted August 24, 2009 | 11:30 AM

This column is not for the squeamish. There have been "death squads" in American health care now for over twenty-five years. I can bear witness to them.

I bear witness to a mother from the heartland seeing post-mortem pictures of her deceased eighteen- year- old son, who repeatedly...

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Why Obama Had to Have Been Born in Kenya

(55) Comments | Posted August 19, 2009 | 2:57 PM

Why are there so many "crazies" coming out of the woodwork to attack public officials with their views that defy reality? And why are they so angrily insistent on those views?

As a psychologist I believe the answers to these two questions have profound significance for our nation's mental...

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Framing the Health Care Reform Debate: Who Do You Hate? Or, Who Do You Hate More?

(17) Comments | Posted August 4, 2009 | 4:06 PM

A 14-year-old boy, "Jimmy," has been seriously depressed and is receiving inpatient treatment in an adolescent residential facility because he is suicidal. His father, a state employee, has private health insurance through work that is paying for the care. The insurance company determines that Jimmy's care is no longer "medically...

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The American Psychological Association and Torture: The Day the Tide Turned

(5) Comments | Posted July 21, 2009 | 1:57 PM

In my blog last month, I described the complicity of psychologists and the American Psychological Association (APA) with torture under the Bush Administration's War on Terror. I also described APA's transition from an organization highly sensitive to human rights to one that supported the Bush Administration's torture interrogation program. I...

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Torture, Psychology, and Daniel Inouye: The True Story Behind Psychology's Role in Torture

(89) Comments | Posted June 16, 2009 | 5:49 PM

A seventeen-year-old boy is locked in an interrogation cell in Guantanamo. He breaks down crying and says he wants his family. The interrogator senses the boy is psychologically vulnerable and consults with a psychologist. The psychologist has evaluated the boy prior to the questioning and says, "Tell him his family...

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State of Confusion: Tuesday's Two Wild Cards

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2008 | 6:10 PM

Samuel Johnson said, "Nothing so focuses a man's mind as the knowledge he is to hang at dawn." For the last six weeks the American voter's mind has been focused by and on the economy. The heavy weight of the economic issue has helped inoculate Obama from the onslaught of...
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State of Confusion: John McCain's Anger and the Debates

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2008 | 9:37 AM

In my most recent two blogs I have discussed from a psychological perspective both John McCain's authority problem and his emotional instability. As the pressure of the presidential campaign mounts, McCain's immaturity takes new forms and suggests a pervasive fault line in his psychological stability.

The debates have been fatal...

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John McCain's Authority Problem

(4) Comments | Posted September 5, 2008 | 12:54 PM

Make no mistake about it. John McCain's defiance of authority is what kept him alive in the Hanoi Hilton. But it has been a different story in the rest of his life.

The final piece fell into place for me last night watching John McCain's acceptance speech. The day before...

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State of Confusion: Things We Cannot Say About John McCain

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2008 | 4:03 PM

As a psychologist we learn quickly that we are all subject to subtle, subliminally transmitted "rules" that we let control us. In my book State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind (Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press, June 2008.) I have described several ways these...

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Envy: John McCain's Renewable Energy Source

(6) Comments | Posted August 21, 2008 | 6:20 PM

Why do negative campaign ads work?

Negative campaigning works because it harnesses the enormous and ubiquitous blind energy of envy. Envy is as fundamental to the mind as hunger is to the body. In fact envy is frustrated psychological hunger. The paradigm of wanting something, feeling frustrated at not...

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