Crazy: Notes On And Off The Couch
“Dr. Dobrenski intricately intertwines both the patient’s and the professional’s viewpoint regarding each topic and its possible solution—or lack thereof—in an irreverent and comical manner.”
Crazy is a humorous book with individual chapters devoted to specific aspects of mental illnesses or concerns.
Dr. Dobrenski intricately intertwines both the patient’s and the professional’s viewpoint regarding each topic and its possible solution—or lack thereof—in an irreverent and comical manner. Throughout the book, the author indulges in self-deprecating absurdities and witty descriptions of extreme psychological distress to delve into how shrinks work with and feel about their patients—especially how they attempt to manage their own dysfunctional lives.
This book is a well-rounded treatise on the everyday world in which a psychologist may find himself or herself. Descriptions of various mental illnesses, which often appear abstract and mysterious to the average person, are incorporated into the story in common scenarios using simple language that readily propels the narrative along.
As the author vacillates between situations happening during supervised therapies in graduate school to current doctor-patient interactions, the reader is treated to an unusual glimpse of training therapies as they relate and compare to present day professional techniques in the mental health field.
We follow the failures and successes of patients with obsessive compulsive disorder; watch as a man celebrates his newfound independence in driving—unconcerned that he is still blind; empathize with the author as he searches for his own sanity after the loss of a relationship that had really never fully developed; and more. Perhaps many will find a touch of their own insecurities in the discussions from the group therapy sessions.
Crazy is a well written, fun book to read highlighting situations that many psychologists should be able to both relate to and find the humor in.
Unfortunately, the intended audience is not quite clear. The lively pacing and readability along with the topic would ensure the interest of a general audience. But many of the insights into the therapeutic techniques and various attitudes of doctors toward patients could be a detriment to some patients in need of psychological help—or at the very least could change the dynamics of those therapy sessions. Perhaps the latter is really the intent of the author? Is knowing more about your shrink’s processes, thought patterns, and treatment approaches a good thing or a bad thing?
If we accept the author’s suggestion that nearly all psychologists have more insecurities and problems than their patients—or that they are simply in the profession to make large incomes, patient be dammed,—it would not be surprising to find his peers shunning him.
Perhaps the best option is to accept the book as it probably is intended: as just a fun read spoofing a profession that still seems a bit mysterious to the layperson. Highly recommended nonetheless.