Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Rich, Beautiful, Brilliant People Talk About In Psychotherapy

On on Boy Doctor / Girl Doctor post, one reader wrote about my novel, Home Inspection:

I was kind of surprised and amused by how mundane much of what Tom and Polly talked about in therapy seemed. These characters were far more attractive, intelligent, accomplished and worldly than I am, and yet their sessions often didn't sound all that different than my own.

Ah, so I do see some amazing people for psychotherapy and this got me thinking about a few things.

First off, let me remind you that Polly and Tom aren't real, they are fictional characters and some of their dialogue is not about being a realistic therapy session, it's about progressing the plot.  Each chapter is a therapy session, and while the length varies a bit, sometimes the space just needed to be filled for the sake of the format.

Second off, let me tell you that rich, brilliant, gorgeous, accomplished people talk about the same things that dumb ugly people (oh please forgive me, I don't actually think of my patients as dumb and ugly!)  talk about in psychotherapy.  The degree of detail and the propensity to want to talk seems to be a feature of individual personality, and not a product of money, brains, luck, or good looks.  Smarter people sometimes use bigger words.

This is what everyone talks about in psychotherapy:
  • Interesting things they've done or places they've been since the last session.
  • Distressing interactions with important people in their lives, so if they feel dissed by someone, that tops the list.  Wealthy, gorgeous, smart people feel disrespected and misunderstood in the exact same ways the non-beautiful people do. 
  • Anything that's upsetting or aggravating.  If you've never been in therapy, let me assure you I hear a great deal about technology fiascos and car/home repairs.
  • Sometimes people actually talk about their psychiatric symptoms, but less often then you'd think, and sometimes only when specifically asked about them.  They do talk a fair amount about medications.
  • Their medical issues and the medical issues of their family members. Sometimes the medical issues of friends and co-workers.
I'm sure I'm missing some things, you'll fill it in.
There are no more free days to promote Home Inspection, so it's selling for 99 cents for a few days only.
Double Billing is getting hundreds of downloads and I couldn't be more pleased.
If you're interested, the books are listed  here