Thom Rutledge, author of Embracing Fear

Thom Rutledge, author of Embracing Fear
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
April 16
Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist and author of several books, including Embracing Fear: How to Turn What Scares Us into Our Greatest. His political commentaries have appeared in newspapers across the country, including The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Indianapolis Star and The New York Times. With Same Page Thom turns his attention to national politics, not to become one more partisan voice in the dangerously polarized noise, but to bring his unique therapeutic touch with the intention to help heal the relational pathology that is crippling our leaders’ ability to solve our nation’s problems. With Same Page Thom is presenting a challenge to all of us, not just politicians. It is a challenge to step back and look beyond the specific content of political argument and to do what couples are asked to do in relationship therapy: examine and ultimately change HOW we are communicating.


Thom Rutledge, author of Embracing Fear's Links

JANUARY 13, 2013 3:19PM

Letter to My Open Salon Friends

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I have neglected my open salon blog for several years now but have decided to give it a makeover. I have always had 2 commentary voices when it comes to politics. One is definitely a leftie and was the author of my previous incarnation on open salon – with titles like “Super W & the Evil Doers,” “Whose My Little Maverick?” (Editor’s Pick in fact), “The Lost Gospel of Rummy,” and “What I Think of George W Bush, Blood-Thirsty Christians, Homophobes & People Who Don’t Use Their Blinkers.”

My second commentary voice is something else altogether. It is the therapist in me, the part of me that recognizes that the evening news is full of the same problems I see in my therapy office on a daily basis; the part of me that recognizes that if we want real change in Washington, that change has to begin with us, the citizens; the part of me that recognizes that when I am only complaining about how ridiculous “they” are, without an effort to help, I am more part of the problem (the problem of division) than I am part of the solution.

So the new incarnation of my open salon blog is Same Page. I have asked Leftie to take break and invited The Therapist to write with a mission of actually making a difference. Rather than write my clever satirical rants about national politics (pieces that are fun to write but ultimately are only for preaching to the choir) I am now writing about what we might actually do to change the business-as-usual in Washington.

I am writing this specifically to all of you in this Open Salon community. I am writing to introduce myself to some and to reintroduce myself to some of you, to let you know what I am up to with Same Page and to ask that if you see value in what I am doing, that you help me spread the word.

Thanks for the work you are doing here and for taking the time to read this.




REQUEST: If you agree that an increased focus on HOW our representatives and leaders (and we, the people) communicate is a good idea, please help me spread the word about my Same Page blog here on open-salon. Maybe I have had a recurrence of my long-lost naiveté, but I really do believe it is possible for us to make a difference. Thanks --- Thom Rutledge

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Your proposed change in direction is a good one. Opinion pieces, without a plausible action plan is just writing for self-satisfaction or adulation. Complaining, for the sake of complaining and poking fun at the bizarre state of affairs that exists is basically pointless.
Thom - thanks for reaching out. I, too, had set aside my Open Salon blog. I've also thought that while I love writing scathing indictments, the higher road may be more painstaking. The framing techniques of George Lakoff come to mind. It's easy to generalize and dismiss those with whom I politically disagree, but to be truly persuasive requires more attention. I applaud your new path and hope I can keep up!!
Therapist...I like that perspective. Talk about mental health in this country. Are we all crazy?
Sane people are the ones who admit we are crazy. The crazy ones insist that they are sane.
I've been away from OS for quite a while myself. I have always been more sedentary than activist but at specific times I have made the decision to get off my duff and do something about a specific project that called out to me in a voice I recognized. That seems to be what you are doing here too. I will keep an eye out for your posts Thom.