Crazy: Notes On and Off the Couch

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Overview

An average day in the life of a psychologist is a frenetic one. A 9 a.m. appointment to help a woman manage a husband who won’t take out the garbage (at least with his pants on) quickly shifts to an emotionally intense session with a convicted rapist at 10 a.m. After talking with a child about his fears of school an hour later, the psychologist then meets with a therapist to deal with his own anxieties, followed by lunch with his ...

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Crazy: Notes On and Off the Couch

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Overview

An average day in the life of a psychologist is a frenetic one. A 9 a.m. appointment to help a woman manage a husband who won’t take out the garbage (at least with his pants on) quickly shifts to an emotionally intense session with a convicted rapist at 10 a.m. After talking with a child about his fears of school an hour later, the psychologist then meets with a therapist to deal with his own anxieties, followed by lunch with his socially-phobic colleague who’s already had four martinis by 1 p.m. All this, and it’s only Monday.
 
What most of us don’t realize is that while mental health professionals are trying to help people resolve their problems, they often suffer from depression and anxiety, take antipsychotics, self-medicate with booze, and struggle in their own relationships. In other words, they can be just as “crazy” as their patients.

 

Crazy is the story of how one mental health professional deals with his own personal problems and those of the people he treats. Part exposé and part memoir, it reveals what therapists really think about their profession, their colleagues, their patients, and their own lives.

Ultimately, Dobrenski’s riveting, sometimes humorous, and deeply insightful narrative brings us to one oddly comforting conclusion—namely, the therapist’s not-so-secret secret: We’re all crazy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Clinical psychologist Dobrenski, author of the popular Shrink Talk blog (www.shrinktalk.net), wants us to understand that therapists can be crazy, too. To that effect, he tells us about a colleague who has panic attacks and describes his own obsession with a former girlfriend. But mostly he writes about what therapists do and describes the different kinds of patients he may see in a typical day—a couple with a troubled marriage, a teenage boy who's trying to cope with his parents' divorce, a woman mourning the death of her husband. He relates unusual encounters, including working with sex offenders and their partners and a blind man who "cured" his depression in a most hair-raising way. VERDICT Fun for anyone who's wondered what it's like to make a living by listening to other people's troubles all day.—Mary Ann Hughes, Shelton, WA
Kirkus Reviews

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 ofpatient 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.

From the Publisher

“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? . . . But Dobrenski also puts himself under the microscope. . . . Clean, honest writing makes for an engaging read.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Most people who get into psychology as a profession do it because they're crazy, and it's their way of healing themselves. The problem is, they never admit this fact to themselves or to anyone else. Dr. Rob does what very few psychologists ever do: He looks at himself with the same eye for analysis that he uses for his patients.” —Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

“It takes a truckload of guts to write a book this honest about one’s profession. To pen one as funny and insightful as Crazy is, simply, amazing. You’ll never view therapy in the same light again.” —The Philadelphia Lawyer, author of Happy Hour Is for Amateurs

 

“If you ever wondered what your shrink was like out of office hours, then this is the book for you. A fascinating, thought-provoking and at times hilarious, read.” —Robin Baker, author of Sperm Wars and Primal

 

"Fun for anyone who’s wondered what it’s like to make a living by listening to other people’s troubles all day." —Library Journal

"A refreshing memoir...a solid step in the right direction of reminding patients that treatment can be a two-way street."  —Shelf Awareness

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762764839
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/14/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Dobrenski, PhD, is a licensed psychologist whose work has been published in The Best of Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2.  Visit him at ShrinkTalk.net.  He lives and works in New York City.

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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader vi

Disclaimer viii

Prologue ix

9 a.m. Seeing the World through Black-Painted Glasses 1

10 a.m. Panic and Dr. Pete 15

11 a.m. The Torture Chamber That Is OCD 23

12 p.m. No One Else Can See or Hear It, Yet It's Still There 35

1 p.m. Sex, Drugs, and Parents 52

2 p.m. The Pain We Believe Will Never Cease 77

3 p.m. The Ghost of Janet 93

4 p.m. Till Death Do Us Part … or Not? 102

5 p.m. The Root of All Evil? 116

6 p.m. A Victim for Life? 136

7 p.m. Sexual Deviants, Angry Spouses, and a Neophyte Shrink Without a Clue 152

Epilogue: Cured? 188

Acknowledgments 193

Index 194

About the Author 202

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 9, 2014

    Insightful and Informative

    Rob Dobrenski's CRAZY is an insightful, informative look at the challenges of a specific psychiatrist ... just doing his job. Find out what he thinks, what he feels, and how he grows. If you've ever wanted to look inside a psychiatrist's mind, don't miss this opportunity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Andi

    Sits with him

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Miche

    Love this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    DEVIN TO MANSON

    Go back to "together" res 2

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    informative, honest, and funny. 

    informative, honest, and funny. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 7 Customer Reviews

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