Basics of Group Relations Revisited: What’s it like?

Now that I’ve actually been to a group relations conference – I survived the spiral! – I’m taking a second look at my initial group relations impressions to see how my perceptions have changed. One thing I didn’t get after the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Organizations course was how exhausting a group relations conference can be. […]

Three Faces of Poverty: Who are the poor?

Looking back over the past few weeks of anti-poverty posts, I have thoughts. On one hand I’m impressed with the thought and effort that has gone into the various poverty reduction strategies. A lot of very smart people have been working very hard to fight poverty, which is great. On the other hand, I find […]

Three faces of poverty: Poverty and Plenty, Saint John

This is the second part of a three-part series on poverty in Canada. You can find the background and rest of the series here. Canada’s East Coast is celebrated for its long history and vibrant culture. However, the decline of shipbuilding, fisheries, and other maritime industries have left Eastern Canada with relatively high levels of […]

Three faces of poverty: Introduction

As part of an ongoing Bureau Kensington project I’ve been researching poverty and poverty reduction in three Canadian cities. Bureau Kensington, as a social justice-oriented organization, is committed to poverty reduction and economic justice, as well as to using the tools and techniques of group relations to achieve those goals. So to kill two birds […]

This is not an armchair psychoanalysis of Rob Ford

One of my favourite advice websites, Captain Awkward, has a commenting rule: no remote diagnoses. No matter how much the letter writer’s annoying aunt reminds you of your mother, you can’t diagnose someone with Borderline Personality Disorder based on the description of a biased third party.

This is good advice, but rarely followed (even on Captain Awkward). Unless you’re living under a rock – and if you are, I might come join you for a weekend just to get away – you will have by now heard of Toronto’s mayor trouble. For the journalists of Toronto, Rob Ford and his antics have been the gift that keeps giving, as the man continues to reach new highs or new lows or just new levels of weirdness. It’s easy to treat the story as entertainment, and it’s difficult for those of us who are not fans of the mayor to react with anything other than schadenfreude. Or, to repeat a phrase coined all the way back in 2008, Schadenford (Noun: Perverse pleasure derived from observing the foibles of Toronto mayor Rob Ford).

But I am going to attempt to follow the good Captain’s advice and keep my itchy fingers off the DSM. I mean, it is pretty obvious that Rob Ford has psychological problems ranging from addictions to rage issues to some reeeaaally dysfunctional family dynamics – I hope if I am ever caught smoking crack my mother doesn’t take the opportunity to appear on national TV and call me fat! – but let’s leave the specifics up to the trained professionals when he finally makes contact with them. Plus that article’s been done already.

More interesting is the psychological profile not of the man himself but of the city which elected him. A brief history for the outsiders: Continue reading “This is not an armchair psychoanalysis of Rob Ford”