Therapists warning about Trump’s dangerous personality should explain the Dark Triad

An interesting notion to consider is that just as liberals are trying to rebrand the term global warming with the climate crisis, perhaps those of us presenting our case to the public should begin introducing another concept in addition to malignant narcissism.
This is the malevolent dark triad, which is as therapists we know refers to the combination of narcissism, psychopathy personality, and Machiavellianism.
Like it or not we as psychotherapists who have gone public are engaged marketing when we try to add another reason why Trump is dangerous and unfit besides his being an autocratic dictator wannabe who is daily eroding our cherished freedoms.
In essence those like me, an early member, in the Duty to Warn group (the name is another exercise in branding which coexists with another group of prominent anti-Trump therapists who with the same goal have yet to find a catchy name) are opening a second front against Trump.
Our insights inform and arm the opposition to Trump too because we are acting like military intelligence operatives probing for weaknesses in the enemy.
We are embodying many of the ancient lessons from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” which boil down to saying that the better you know your enemy the more likely it is you will defeat him.
Thanks to the hard work and persistent efforts of our leaders, many eminent in various areas of psychology and psychiatry, we have become a crucial part of the resistance’s “war council.”
While some may resist admitting this not only is our role to educate the resistance, but we also have to understand that we are engaged in crafting the messages that will have the most resonance with targeted groups. In other words, we are propagandists.

Before your heads blow off at my use of this term, please understand that our propaganda is always the truth. Unlike Fox News and Trump himself, we never lie. We are putting a warning label on Trump.  Unlike the warnings on cigarette packs that addicted smokers ignored we have to be sure that our warnings are a type of advertising (another word some of you may want to avoid) which has to be crafted with the same deliberate genius used by  Marlboro (for one example) to create The Marlboro Man.

This is described in Wikipedia “as one of the most brilliant advertisement campaigns of all time. It transformed a feminine campaign, with the slogan ‘Mild as May’, into one that was masculine, in a matter of months.”.
Wikipedia describes the dark triad as:
All three dark triad traits are conceptually distinct although empirical evidence shows them to be overlapping. They are associated with a callous-manipulative interpersonal style.

Trump epitomizes the dark triad.

I suggest we as psychotherapists warning about how Trump’s psychopathology makes him both dangerous and unfit introduce this phrase into our lexicon when we speak and write about Donald Trump.


The author is a retired clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and mental health center director.

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments on "Therapists warning about Trump’s dangerous personality should explain the Dark Triad"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The ‘square peg round hole’ problem is lost on Trump.. Anything beyond his belly is not a problem.

Impeach trump
Impeach trump

Everything about trump is a red flag, a symptom of serious mental illness-who describes a letter as “beautiful” from a dangerous dictator? The blackness of his personality deficits are obvious and glaring-pray there is no crisis as he can’t be relied upon…he needs to be removed by any means possible as soon as possible….