Frequently (i.e., More Than Once) Asked Questions
1) Is Rob Dobrenski your real name?
Yes. I am a licensed Psychologist in NYC. I am not an anonymous blogger or writing under a nom de plume. I am a real person, one with feelings, born via one Stan Dobrenski and Carol Dobrenski. The aforementioned are also real.
2) What do you look like?
I look exactly like (insert name of current Hollywood leading man based on year and season). Or just watch this short clip of me on television.
3) What is a ‘shrink’?
Traditionally, the term ‘shrink’ referred to a Psychiatrist; however, in the modern world ‘shrink’ really means any mental health practitioner, especially one who provides therapy.
4) What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Take a look at this post for the answer.
5) How do I find a good therapist?
Again, allow me to direct you here for a response to this.
6) Aren’t shrinks supposed to live secret lives? Why do you talk about yourself so much?
Many shrinks do not disclose much, if anything, about themselves. Part of that is based on their training, as some forms of mental health treatment thrive when the patient knows very little about their provider. But if you read this site, you’ll see that Psychologists, Psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners are often grossly inept at basic interpersonal communication. This is ironic given that they converse for a living, yet true. So many wouldn’t be able to share much about themselves without sounding somewhat verbally challenged. Or at least very strange.
I don’t talk about myself all that much, more about my job and the people in my life because of it. Because shrinks do conduct a secret profession, this site is my way of ethically showing what this field is all about. The goal is to pull the curtain back and educate people on what is very much an unknown for some.
You can read more about the site’s missions here.
7) Wouldn’t it be a better idea to write anonymously? You’d be able to be more open without fear of backlash.
I don’t fear backlash. I use a Disclaimer for both legal and ethical purposes, and I don’t care what other shrinks think about this site. Call me rogue or rebellious or just stupid, but as long as my patients are protected, then life is good.
If you read anonymous blogs written by shrinks, you’ll find that they are either incredibly dry/boring or condescending as all hell (people become very brave when there’s no accountability involved). I want none of those things for this site. It’s designed, ideally, to be funny, quirky, educational and entertaining, where the “experts” are really no different from the people they treat. This buttoned-up profession leads people to believe that ‘doctor = healthy, patient = sick.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most importantly, however, is this: the most paramount goal of this site is to remove the stigma around mental health, to show that psychological/psychiatric treatment isn’t for the ‘sick’ or ‘crazy.’ If the writer of the site is championing the notion that psychology and psychiatry shouldn’t be these shameful, secret enterprises, how much impact could that message possibly carry if the author is anonymous?
8. Do you get hate mail?
Sometimes, although this site isn’t so controversial as to generate much venom. That said, I’ve been called a “stupid quack cunt,” and have had “gang rape/murder” wished upon me, but I’m guessing those comments are from people who don’t like shrinks as a whole.
9) Can I come hang out and watch you work?
No you may not.
10) Why don’t you simply use ShrinkTalk.Com like any normal person would? What the hell is this “.Net” shit?
.Com was taken and I wasn’t about to pay some king’s ransom to buy it.
11) If I have sex with you, will you give me free therapy.