Nowadays people go see a shrink mainly to get a prescription. This is too bad. While I am knowledgeable in the craft of diagnosis and pushing pills, it is not as interesting as working  on what makes someone tick.

Few patients seem interested in exploring their Self or growing – or at least with me. It may be both my patients and I are focused on ‘getting the meds right’ in our 15 minute appointments. They don’t have time to ask for more. Or they are seeing other people for that sort of work.

But a few speak up with cosmic or dynamic questions.

It is quite a challenge to hear one of these questions coming, and quickly conjure what to say. Within a few seconds I have to combine what I know about this person with years of psychoanalytical theories into a quick take home message that will

  1. stick and
    b) not sound too simplified.

Most of the time I pull this off. Ironically if I don’t think too hard on it, but ‘open my mouth’ something comes out that amazes me as much as the patient.


Sometimes I will say something in passing and not even remember saying it. But it makes an impact as later on they tell me how much ‘what I said’ did for them.  It is good to keep a poker face lest I give away no recall of saying such a thing let alone trying to be profound at the time.

In contrast, my attempts at wit, profundity, or revelation are no guarantee of success. Some things I say purposely to evoke The Numinous often go over like a lead balloon. So I never know what impact my words will have.

I’ve learned not to fret about it. Truth will out. And if I trust Psyche, the right things eventually are said and heard in their proper time.  So I keep spewing nuggets of insight among the prescriptions.

A few lucky ones get the connection.