Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mad Men scene

The scene between characters Don Draper and Peggy Olson in AMC TVs award winning show Mad Men (as in Madison Avenue) has an excellent bit of advice that I have tried to impart at times.  In this scene, Peggy is in what appears to be a psychiatric hospital and she is bedridden. She has just gone through a major life crisis and tried to conceal her whereabouts from her boss Don Draper. Prior to this crisis she had impressed Draper to the point that he promoted her and he brings that up during this conversation.

Draper on the other hand, had a similar life crisis when he was in his early 20s that involved changing his identity to the identity of a soldier he was serving with during the Korean War. He has a significant amount of psychological trauma from his childhood. His advice in this scene captures the way he has dealt with his own problems but also captures a larger thread of developmental psychology and speaks to the fact that as we deal with more crises through our lives it affects us less and and we can recover from it more quickly. That basic concept of resilience is not talked about enough in assisting people with crises in their lives.

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