NR Digital

The Long View

Bethesda Mental-Health Clinic

by Rob Long


Session One:
The group assembles in the small conference room. Although anonymity is preferred for this kind of therapy, the qualities of this particular therapy and this specific client group make that impossible. Therapist notes, however, that despite their familiarity with one another, the patients quickly let down their guard. Initial introductions become highly emotional “confessional” sessions. All are Republican members of Congress deeply conflicted about their own secret, shameful proclivities. All feel that the electorate in November, despite a cultural shift to openness and tolerance, will reject them if it learns the truth. All are here, in this intensive workshop, to “cure” themselves of what they feel are “unnatural” and “morally wrong” tendencies. There are some tears, especially from some of the older gentlemen. The mood is somber but enthusiastic.

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