A licensed psychologist dishes about his patients, and himself.
The life, times and thoughts of a New York therapist are put on display in a candid account of what goes on behind the doctor’s door—and in his head—during a day filled with patients and self-doubt. Tackling serious mental-health subjects without being overly reverent, shrinktalk.net blogger Dobrenski maintains a snappy pace. Patients are not spared his keen observations, which help to answer the vexing question: Am I paranoid, or does my shrink think I'm crazy—and sloppy? Take the author’s account of patient Scott, “six-foot-four, disheveled, overweight, and constantly perspiring. He began many of his sentences with an F-bomb and arrived for his sessions in T-shirts that were too tight for his abdomen, and white sneakers with black socks. His hands were always very clammy, but he insisted on a handshake every time he entered the therapy room. He was easily the brunt of many people's jokes.” But Dobrenski also puts himself under the microscope, ultimately heeding the old chestnut: “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand…Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” The author also cautions those being shrinked: “The human condition is so complex and constantly evolving and no one person or institution has all the answers. Therapy will never be an exact science, and therefore there will never be the perfect textbook or teacher or school that will create the Ultimate Therapist who puts his hand on your head and cures you of every and every ill.”
Clean, honest writing makes for an engaging read, particularly for “couch” potatoes.