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Michael Bader, D.M.H.
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Michael Bader, DMH is a psychologist and psychoanalyst with 35 years of clinical experience. He has written extensively about the intersection of psychology, culture and progressive politics. His recent books, Fear of Winning, and More than Bread and Butter are available on both and his website,

Entries by Michael Bader, D.M.H.

Why Progressive Leaders Feel Like Imposters

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 4:24 PM

I once coached the leader of a progressive political organization about his tendency to micromanage everyone around him to the point that he procrastinated in developing a vision for his organization and in making bigger decisions about strategy.

He admitted that he fell victim to "paralysis by analysis," often...

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The Science of Addiction and Recovery

(2) Comments | Posted October 16, 2015 | 2:03 PM

People in recovery sometimes said in 12-step meetings that they were addicts before wthey "put in." According to this view, putting a drug, whether alcohol or any other addictive substance, into our bodies in order to change our state of mind is the result of prior psychological, familial and social...

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It's NOT the Economy, Stupid!

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 5:03 PM

It's Not Just the Economy, Stupid

When I was studying psychology, I learned about the work of Abraham Maslow, who argued that human needs could be arranged and understood hierarchically -- later visualized as a pyramid -- with survival needs at the bottom and needs for love, self-esteem and...

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Robert Kuttner Isn't the Only One Who Needs to Hear More Prophetic Voices

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 7:41 AM

At his 50th Oberlin reunion, Robert Kuttner, editor of the American Prospect, reminisced about his own commencement ceremony at which Martin Luther King was the keynote speaker. Three months after the Selma march, King inspired Kuttner and his fellow graduates with a speech titled "Staying Awake Through a...

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Who Is Speaking Up for the Insured? Progressives Are Missing the Boat

(19) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 6:08 PM


Progressives today seem to care much more about people without medical coverage than those with it. And who wouldn't? The suffering and anxiety of the uninsured is a national shame. Obamacare will, over the next decade, reduce the number of uninsured from...

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How Do You Know If Your Therapist Is Helping You?

(6) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 7:23 PM

A neighbor of mine recently consulted a psychotherapist for help with depression. Her internist had put her on an anti-depressant and referred her to a psychotherapist. She had just come from her first session. She asked me questions that many people have when beginning therapy (or even when they've been...

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Why Therapists Will Miss James Gandolfini

(1) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 1:44 PM

It's impossible to mourn the death of James Gandolfini and not reflect on his extraordinary performance as the psychologically complex and tortured mob boss, Tony Soprano, in David Chase's HBO series, The Sopranos. Gandolfini's interpretation of Chase's scripts, especially in Season One, offered up one of the most psychologically insightful...

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The Hypocrisy Behind the Gun Lobby's Focus on Mental Illness

(251) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 2:36 AM

Debates over gun control vs. mental illness after a mass shooting are ridiculous kabuki dances that defy reason but have become so ingrained in our culture that their essential irrationality is invisible.

The dance begins with a tragic shooting rampage by a young man dressed in camo with a semi-automatic...

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Everything Said About Anthony Weiner Is Bull

(436) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 10:41 AM

There's only one legitimate reason to be upset with Anthony Weiner, and that's because his behavior and its discovery has taken away a bold and effective voice in the Democratic party. Everything else you think and feel about him is bullshit.

By bullshit, I mean it has nothing to do...

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No, Virginia -- AT&T Just Seems Like the Great Satan

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2011 | 1:02 PM

My former therapist told me once that helplessness was the most toxic of human emotions. I didn't know then that he was talking about AT&T.

Yesterday I waited over 6 hours for AT&T to come to my office and work on my DSL line. Having waited forever on other occasions,...

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Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

(22) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 5:08 PM

New Years resolutions don't work. Oh, I suppose that there are some people who are able to use the occasion to alter something in their lives. But, generally, they -- we -- don't change simply because we resolve to do so. The reason for this is simple, but if...

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The Biggest Myth About Therapy That HBO's In Treatment Promotes

(8) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 10:53 AM

Oh, right. Paul Weston isn't a real therapist. He's just a character on the HBO series In Treatment. So, I suppose it's rather silly when my wife and I -- both psychologists -- react to stuff he does with exclamations like "Good interpretation, Paul!" or "Christ! He keeps missing the...

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Why Do So Many People Love Dr. Laura?

(33) Comments | Posted August 23, 2010 | 11:46 AM

Is anything served by progressives continuing to beat up right-wing radio host,"I'm-Only-A-Pretend-Doctor" Laura Schlesinger? (Note: Schlesinger violated professional ethics codes by fraudulently representing herself as a doctor. Her PhD was in physiology studying glucose-transport in rats.) Seems like we've done a pretty good job over the years. The evidence is...

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Why We Need a "Practical Psychoanalysis"

(92) Comments | Posted August 14, 2010 | 11:00 AM

I'm a psychoanalyst. So it was with great interest that I read Daphne Merkin's New York Times Magazine article about her forty-year history of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Merkin is a terrific writer, a brave observer of her inner life, and a lively critic of the professional cultures...

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