Stephanie Newman Ph.D.

Apologies To Freud

Mad Men, a Show for Armchair Psychologists

Examining Mad Men's characters can help you understand your own psychology

Posted Feb 20, 2012

Countdown to Mad Men, a show for Armchair Psychologists, which premiers next month on AMC.

The show chronicles life in the 1960s, and has captured the imagination of millions of viewers with its glamour and intricate story lines. But beyond the gorgeously stylized visuals and impeccably recreated history it's the richly drawn characters stumbling through their personal and professional lives that get under our skin and keep us invested.  

In case you didn't know, examining the show's characters might just help you better understand your own psychological make-up. Ever wonder why Don constantly engages in self-sabotaging behaviors? Why Betty is such a cold mother and desperately unhappy housewife (hint: it's not just because her people are Nordic)? Why Pete prevails in adversity when Roger falters? Why Peggy is able to thrive in the male jungle of Madison Avenue?

For all who love Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, Betty Draper Frances, for observers of contemporary and 1960s culture, and for followers of the advertising game, the book Mad Men on the Couch provides an analytic look inside the psyches of the deeply flawed and endlessly fascinating fictional denizens of 1960s Madison Avenue. Understanding why they do what they do--and what makes them tick--can shed light on the behaviors of your neighbors, friends, and co-workers, and might allow you to better understand them, and yourself.

Full disclosure: Stephanie Newman is the author of Mad-Men-on-the-Couch.

More Posts