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The Good Psychologist

by Noam Shpancer

Omniscient guru and popular teacher to his students, empathic professional to his patients, the nameless Good Psychologist is detached, lonely and sad in his personal life. Reading like a series of entertaining lectures, I learned a lot about psychology from this simple tale – and enjoyed the irony of a man who isn’t able to practise what he preaches. Read it for the wit, the clarity of the prose and the likeable characters.

Extract

That’s why if the client tells me, you’re a fool, an uncaring son of a bitch who doesn’t understand shit, I must not feel insulted, rise in defence of my honor, curse him back or abandon him in favor of a more pleasant person. All the above are legitimate responses towards friends, lovers, relatives or strangers, but not towards the client. My greatest obligation in the therapeutic encounter is to explore how these sentiments have emerged, how they can help me understand the client better, and how I can leverage them as part of the process of helping the client heal.
Personally, if someone says this crap to me I’d smack him, Eric says, client or no client.
An almost imperceptible shudder slithers across the pink-haired girl’s back. She caresses the back of her neck.
Perhaps, the psychologist says, but then your encounter is not therapeutic, and not quite suffused with humility.
Sometimes a nice whack to the head is a very effective therapy, Eric mumbles, in my humble opinion, of course.

Parallels

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
Analyze This - the film
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
 

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