Crazy: Notes On And Off The Couch Hardcover – Jun 14 2011
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"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
From the Inside Flap
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.See all Product Description
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Tucker has sex with midgets and craps across a hotel lobby. Phila Lawyer drunk drives evidence away from the scene of a crime and shows up to court in even worse states. Dr. Rob's work, the professional things he deals with in an office, for pay, licensed under the law, make those other stories look like child's play. Which is a bit ironic, given Dr. Rob's childish appearance.
Crazy is an intensely well rounded look at the life of a psychologist, both in terms of the patients treated and the mental battles the doctor himself deals with. There's a good deal of humor up front, with a blind patient who finds driving on the highway therapeutic, a high school Screech-type who makes the entirely understandable mistake of confusing agnosticism with terrorism, and a good helping of schadenfreude as Rob tries to cope with not breaking up with a girl he was never really in a relationship with in the first place.
But, it's no surprise that the world of mental disease isn't all fear of sunshine and imagined rainbows. We also see patients struggle with loved ones who have died, accidents that should have killed them, being the victim of sexual assault, and also being the perpetrator. Some patients appear to recover fully, while others are faced with slugging through a life where the best case scenario is marginal improvement.
The writing is gripping, with an appropriate amount of gravitas, while also being self aware that the doctor doesn't have all the answers, and that sometimes there aren't any answers to begin with.
My only complaint is that having been an avid fan of Rob's blog, ShrinkTalk.net, it's clear that Crazy is merely the tip of the iceberg of what happens on and off the couch. But, as far as complaints go, being left wanting more is pretty minor. ...And probably the work of some shrinky voodoo.
The writer is very good story teller.
The book is well organized by two main stream, one is the patients the doctor sees and the other is how the writer himself sees his own psychologist.
It illustrated how psychologists do their job and provide a different view about patients rather than the stereotyping 'crazy' people, so that the readers would understand that at some point being 'crazy' is almost just like something we would experience during the time we go towards death. Some of us do well and we move on, some need the doctors help to finally move on, and some unfortunately will be disturbed by the disease through their life. And therefore there is no point to call people seeing a shrink 'crazy'.
It insipired me that most of the time things exist for a reason, such as mom's nagging in childhood, heart-breaking break up of first love, fear of losing a partner. And once you find out the exact reason / weakness, and work on to conqure it, most of the time you'll be good to move on.
I'm very thankful that Dr. Dobrenski's book taught me to avoid using 'vague' words such as 'upset' 'crazy' 'creepy' or 'mad', and be specific and honest in communications with other people.
It's a page turner to me. And it's one of the few books that I would read more than once. Because every time I read it, there are some situations recalled my own memories when I didn't realize I needed someone like Dr. Dobrenski to guide me to walk through the difficulties. Although I moved on with my good life now, reading it still and finally clear up those old myth in my heart and helps me to truly let things go.
If possible, I recommend everyone read through this book.