Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Therapist is a Creep


Pic removed when I looked at it more closely and realized what it was--I am so sorry to all. I will look more closely at what I'm posting...oy.

Vaguely confabulated, but.....

So an acquaintance (let's call her Marsha) mentioned she'd been in therapy with a psychiatrist (let's call her Cruella) I know through professional channels. I shivered, oh did I shiver. "How'd it go?" I might have asked if this really happened. "Awful." No surprise there. Therapy with Cruella sounded to be just as I'd imagined; she was weird, kind of nasty, and just the thought of talking to her about my deepest darkest or looking to her for comfort made me ...well... shiver.

Many people think psychiatrists are weird. Maybe we are. The truth is that most of the psychiatrists I know are at least kind, well-meaning, interested, and want to help people. Cruella does not fit this mold, she's weirder than any TV shrink I've seen, prone to outbursts, and doesn't relate well to people; I've seen her cut people with words, I've watched her hold the room hostage. My opinion, of course, and my best guess is that Cruella has nothing nice to say about me. So be it.

I forgot to mention that Cruella is very smart, and I'm sure she's a very competent psychopharmocologist. But this is the thing-- I would never refer anyone to her. Why? Because she's weird and not nice.

What's this got to do with anything? The truth is that people all have fantasies about their real life psychiatrist-- one is the supposition that the psychiatrist is a nice person who's life is vaguely in order. Did you want to see a marriage counselor who's on his fourth marriage and has three children who've been placed with foster parents for abuse? I don't think so. And while I know many psychiatrists with their own long stories, many of them I would still refer patients to-- they are good at what they do despite the Whatever in their lives.

I think if I walked into Cruella's office I would run the other way at breakneck speed. Marsha stayed for a while, looking for hope or something good. She didn't find it and eventually left, soured by the experience, but it took a while for her to figure out how not-nice Cruella was.
Can you be a mean person and be a good therapist? I don't know, but I don't think so.