When Season 6 of the AMC modern classic Mad Men drew to a close, audiences found the tortured protagonist Don Draper at a crossroads. The consequences of his alcoholism led to an indefinite suspension from his lucrative career in advertising, a career that seemed to narcissistically fuel the fire of unhealed childhood trauma and relational turmoil.
As a trauma and addiction psychotherapist, I found myself transfixed with the character of Don Draper throughout the show’s run. From this clinical perspective, I lamented at the damage I saw Don do to his children. Yet Don Draper, marvelously portrayed by Jon Hamm, as created by Matthew Weiner, demonstrated that behavior we can so easily write off as misogynistic and abusive can have roots in deep, deep pain. At the end of Season 6, I found myself completely empathetic to Don Draper. My best TV buddy Joe and I discussed what we saw coming for Season 7.
As I shared with Joe, “I’m not sure if it will make for what AMC sees as good TV, but I want to see redemption. I want to see Don find some type of recovery.”
The wishful thinking clinician, yogi, dancer, and recovery ambassador that is me put that out there—and I was not disappointed.
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Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity
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Dancing Mindfulness/The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an organizational member of the International Association of Expressive Arts Therapists, the Dance First Association, and NALGAP: The Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Addiction Professionals and Their Allies; Dancing Mindfulness proudly partners with The Breathe Network and Y12SR: The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery in our shared missions.