Two Years of ShrinkTalk: Let’s go Back to the Beginning

Sunday marked the two-year anniversary of the launch of ShrinkTalk.Net. Quite honestly, most of my friends and family stopped reading about 18 months ago, so if you’re one of the few that have stuck around, I can’t thank you enough.
Years ago, back when I worked for Dr. Gail, I had a client who spent many hours discussing her marital dissatisfaction, to the point that she came to the conclusion that she simply disliked her husband. One particular session she immediately launched into a tirade about her husband. However, this wasn’t a “Bitch Session” as she would refer to her prior sessions. She was visibly angry.
“I came home from work and poured myself a glass of red wine. I walked down the hall – this is in my own home mind you – and found my husband kissing my sister. I let out a scream when I saw them, because I was so surprised, and dropped my wine. The glass shattered and the wine sprayed all over my dress. That, that asshole!”
At that point she lowered her head, put her palms to her temples and began massaging them, as if trying to get rid of a headache.

“My God, I’m really sorry to hear that,” I said.
“Thank you,” she said, more frustrated than sad.
“Marriage can be very difficult.”
“I said marriage can be very difficult. Affairs make them even more complicated.”
She looked up. “Are you crazy? I don’t care that he was kissing my sister. Hell, that’s a perfect justification to get divorced and take him to the cleaners. I’m talking about the dress. It was from Nieman- Marcus and now it’s ruined. I loved that piece!”
We stared at each other for a minute, realized how misaligned we were on what the nature of the problem was, and then we both started laughing. Pretty hard, actually.
“I’m sorry,” I said, failing at an attempt to compose myself and sound professional. “I guess given what we’ve talked about these past few months it shouldn’t be a surprise you’re not upset by what he did.”
“Yeah,” she said, wiping away a tear. “This would probably be even more entertaining if it wasn’t my clothes we’re talking about here.”
And then it hit me: people would be interested in hearing about things like this. People watch television shows like Frasier and In Treatment, but those aren’t accurate depictions of a real therapist’s life. In many ways those programs simply use the shrink as a backdrop for comedy and over-the-top drama. What if people could learn about a real Psychologist – with all of his flaws and idiosyncrasies – and what actually goes on in the therapy room? Maybe even teach people about the therapeutic process? It could be like a textbook that isn’t dry and clinical, but engaging and entertaining.
It was that week that I started scribbling out stories and anecdotes about me, my colleagues and the people we work with, trying to produce a good read while possibly educating them about my field along the way *. Hopefully a book deal will be in the near future and my project will reach an even larger audience.
Writing is usually very hard for me, and there are plenty of days that I wonder if it’s worth it. But when I see the readers’ comments, read the fan mail (and even the hate mail), I remember that I could certainly be doing less important things with my life. So again, thank you for reading.
* Click here and here for last year’s anniversary posts that talk about how I ended up writing on the web, specifically for Rudius Media.

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24 Responses to “Two Years of ShrinkTalk: Let’s go Back to the Beginning”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for writing.

  2. CCK says:

    “Happy birthday in the discussion thread.”
    Aren’t I clever?
    Regardless, I’ve been reading your site for a while, and it’s definitely one of the more interesting reads out there. Often funny, sometimes deep, always human and interesting.

  3. Cassandra says:

    Happy anniversary, Dr. Rob!
    Thank you for the perserverance and the will to push through the difficulties and discouragements that always come with the creative process.
    Your writing of the profession provides a unique voice that is wonderfully human, hilariously self-effacing, touching, and insightful.

  4. Straw says:

    Wow, two years I’ve been going to this blog? I’ve loved every minute of it! Happy milestone!

  5. Saw your attention whore tweet and decided to stop by. Happy anniversary. I’ve learned a lot from the year or so I’ve been reading this site. For all the self-deprecating humor, I’m sure you realize that yours is one of the few blogs on the web that’s actually worth the time to read.

  6. Amber says:

    Happy Anniversary Doc. I’m glad you’re still around and writing…even if I don’t comment on everything anymore.
    Still looking forward to that book!

  7. Allison says:

    Happy 2nd birthday!
    Your writing has been indispensable to me. I knew I wanted to pursue the field of psychology as a career, and the first thing I thought of was the therapy branch. After reading your blog, I am fairly sure that this is NOT what I want to do, gearing instead more towards other branches, such as research. If it weren’t for your blog, I would not know what it can be like to be a therapist and what specific problems one can encounter in the profession, and would perhaps have spent a lot of time gearing towards a career less suited to me than another in the field.
    Thank you, keep it up!

  8. Drasko says:

    Im glad you’ve been doing this for 2 years. You’re one of my fav blogs on the rudius network and def one I look forward to reading in general so plz do keep em coming!

  9. Clindos says:

    Love the writing doc. I plan to keep reading it as long as you keep writing it. Also, I would like ot make a request. I think it would be an awesome peace if you could have a conversation with Az, the guy who writes gaijin smash. Focsuing on the psychological ramifications of moving to a culture completly different from our own. Defferent definitions on family values, and whats expected by society from an individual. Thats just something that would perk my interesets, I don’t know if everyone else would enjoy it. But hey, I can allow myself a bit of narrcissism, and shelfeshness everyone know and then, right?

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a cool blog. Keep it going.

  11. Design says:

    Happy anniversary Dr Rob! Really looking forward to your book – if it’s even half as good as your blog it’s going to be a huge hit 🙂

  12. Yasmin says:

    Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on how far you have come – I look forward to many more funny/insightful/thought-provoking posts.

  13. April says:

    Congrats, Dr. Rob! One of the best psych blogs I read!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happy anniversary, Dr. Rob,
    I am definitely not one of the regular commenters out there, but I really enjoy reading your site. And, I guess, there are a lots of us around 🙂
    Keep up the good work

  15. Hugues says:

    I hace actually started reading this website about a year ago.
    At the time I was making an internship for an administration decree.
    I have read all the archive and in september i’m starting a different decree…in psychology.
    Only need to get to doctorate now. 🙂

  16. Cliff says:

    Been here since the beginning, and will continue to read. Great job, Dr. Rob.

  17. Wayland says:

    This site doesn’t look as old as it is. It must be all of the moisturizers and facial cremes. I’m looking forward to more greatness from you man.

  18. Jonathon says:

    Hey man
    I don’t usually comment (mainly because I’m afraid that I’ll sound like a twat) but I just wanted to say congrats on two years. Your stories are awesome in lots of different ways and I’m hoping that the next two years are just as good.
    Take care man. And keep up the good work.
    P.S. If I may ask a quick question, what kinds of vodka best numb you to the emotional rollercoaster of life?

  19. Dr. Rob,
    Congrats on 2 years.
    As for your comments @ the accuracy of TV psychologists….I think “In Treatment” comes the closest, though it is still missing some of the mundane things that are part of every day life. The tv viewing public miss out on the treatment plans, insurance reviews, paperwork snafu’s, assessments, etc.
    Jonathon: Belvedere or Ketel One….with KO being the slightly cheaper alternative.

  20. jackmo says:

    2 years?!? Jesus where does the time go? I remember your first post and being instantly hooked and have enjoyed reading to this day.
    Keep up the good work and take it easy!

  21. Mark says:

    Keep up the blogging and thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Anon is anonymous says:

    Happy anniversary, Dr Rob! I’ve been reading this site for two years now? Hard to believe – but I’m still here, and sending the occasional relationship-saving link to my friends to teach them better communication skills to avoid being dumped. I’m the only one who reads on a regular basis, but it still counts. Here’s to another year of fun psych-filled posts! 🙂

  23. sandy,phd says:

    Happy 2nd Blogaversary, Rob. Here’s to many future posts and comments!

  24. […] Read about the first anniversary here, the second here. […]