Only someone in West Coast therapy could display the “level of narcissism” we’re seeing from Prince Harry, says Matthew Syed in The Sunday Times. In a new podcast, Harry blames everything on his parents and talks, apparently without irony, about the trauma of being on public view while promoting his television series. He implicates Prince Charles, then hits out at the Queen and Prince Philip over “cycles of suffering” and “genetic pain”. I don’t wish to tarnish all counselling, but it’s time someone called out the “pernicious” multibillion-dollar industry that has grown up around a Freudian scam of parent-blaming. Wealthy people will pay through the nose ad infinitum to hear it’s all mum and dad’s fault, not theirs – and the therapists know it.
Displacing problems to loved ones doesn’t just undermine “any capacity for self-awareness”. It tears families apart. Those who will never stop loving you become “collateral damage in the quest for utopia”. Harry says he has been “healed”, but he isn’t talking to his father, has fallen out with his brother and has publicly criticised his 95-year-old grandmother, who is still grieving over her late husband. “This isn’t enlightenment; it’s madness.” Therapy should be about building empathy between family members, not undermining it. The wise recognise that problems are “part of the human condition”. A good therapist would help Harry see that.
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