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Perspectives on Therapy as a Practitioner and client
July 31, 2011 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Dr. Rob Dobrienski is a Manhattan therapist who blogs with honesty and humor on shrinktalk.net about his practice and topics interesting to both laypersons with an interest in psychology and therapy as well as therapists in current practice.

Some topics he's covered range from running into a client outside the office , understanding that not everyone will like you, and the therapist as client.
posted by sweetkid (19 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm fairly confident that the day I find out my therapist is blogging about "his practice" is the day he becomes my former therapist.
posted by dersins at 9:49 PM on July 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


He talks mostly in generalities about clients and conflates clients into characters to protect anonymity, but he does cover the hazards of writing about his practice, and what other therapists think of this, on the blog and in the "therapist as client" link.
posted by sweetkid at 9:53 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always suspected that some therapists do it for the lulz. Now I know it's true.
posted by grouse at 9:57 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dude, even his own shrink said "“I think that only a true narcissist would do something like this.” Having said that, he himself says:
"I don’t write about my clients. I write stories based on my experiences as a Psychologist. That includes writing things about my practice and my colleagues. My job is to ensure that my clients’ confidentiality is protected, and I take that part of the writing extremely seriously."
The book is listed as creative non-fiction. I don't think he's blogging or writing books about actual patients. This does not preclude him from being a narcissist.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2011


That being said, I'd hate to be a client of his and feel I have to continuously check what he is writing for fear I'd show up intentionally, or not in some random post. It's one thing to randomize, generalize and anonymitize years after the fact, but while you are still actively practicing? I dunno. I think I'd dump him as well.

I'm sure it must provide loads of comfort to any clients of his who are either anxious or paranoid.
posted by edgeways at 10:16 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I admit I've thought about doing this before (there's just too much interesting stuff that happens in therapy), but ANONYMOUSLY, for crap's sake. And not for further profit off of the lives/struggles/pain of my clients, either. :\
posted by so_gracefully at 11:14 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd hate to be a client of his, too, and it's mostly because I'd figure out eventually that I was only one degree of separation from Tucker Max and thus have to take a year-long shower.
posted by gingerest at 11:16 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's the Tucker Max connection?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:19 PM on July 31, 2011


Shrink talk:
After 12 years of therapy my psychiatrist finally said something that brought tears to my eyes..
He said, "No hablo ingles".
posted by growabrain at 11:47 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude, even his own shrink said "“I think that only a true narcissist would do something like this.”

Shrinks love thinking that they might be narcissists. It's a weird little rebellion for people in a profession that is largely about caring for others and suppressing the self.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:56 PM on July 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, dude is blogging about his practice and thinks that's ok because he's so special and good at what he does that he would never, even inadvertently, betray a patient confidence.So, maybe a narcissist after all.
posted by dersins at 12:28 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man that's boring. How about this.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:33 AM on August 1, 2011


Dude, even his own shrink said "“I think that only a true narcissist would do something like this.” Having said that, he himself says:

Surely most bloggers are narcissists?
posted by atrazine at 1:07 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


PostIronyIsNotaMyth: Dr. Dobrenski's blog was part of Rudius Media, which was founded by Tucker Max. Admittedly, Dr. Dobrenski has probably suffered for it. Still - lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
posted by gingerest at 1:12 AM on August 1, 2011


Wow, that lulz link is....not nice. He knows the guy takes medication for anxiety and deliberately goads him on a day he hasn't medicated. And goaded him into unprofessional behavior, no less. I guess therapists don't take the Hippocratic oath?
posted by DU at 5:09 AM on August 1, 2011


He's not that interesting. I don't think he knows this or is ready to hear it.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:51 AM on August 1, 2011


gingerest: ...part of Rudius Media, which was founded by Tucker Max. Admittedly, Dr. Dobrenski has probably suffered for it. Still - lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Your self-restraint at using "fleas" rather than "crabs" in this metaphor is commendable.

I wouldn't be automatically opposed to my therapist blogging; in fact, I think it would be an interesting way of learning beforehand if I felt like I would be compatible. However, that doesn't seem to be what's happening here.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:22 AM on August 1, 2011


Before I read this, I was thinking "What's the problem? A number of therapists have written about the therapeutic process using composite patients before, and seem to be respected within the profession and generally well-thought-of."

Then I read it. Suffice to say, he's no Irvin Yalom.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:29 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess therapists don't take the Hippocratic oath?

I get that this was jokey, but no, therapists don't take the oath meant for MDs. They are all bound to national and state-specific ethical codes established by their professional guilds, though. And those ethical codes are pretty conscientiously created with clients' welfare at the center. This guy's behavior doesn't make those ethical codes not exist. Other therapists don't generally act like this, so rather than saying "therapists don't take the Hippocratic Oath" maybe it's more helpful to point out that this is aberrant therapist behavior that doesn't technically, glaringly violate laws or ethical codes.
posted by so_gracefully at 1:31 PM on August 1, 2011


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