The author, a psychoanalyst who has served as an elected public
official, has observed and participated in many adversary relationships in
that they provide explicit procedures for expression and resolution of
disputes. These cognitive features can neutralize some of the emotional
impact of the conflicts, but their frequency, intensity, and pervasiveness
can still be stressful to elected officials. The author describes his own
strategies for coping with that stress as well as some strategies used by
other elected officials.