Therapy Pt.lll: The Three “P’s” plus One


Even though I was perturbed, I’d not yet written off Dr G’s referral (but I was turned off by what I’d learned so far).

Before I dove into the mountain of paperwork required to see the doctor I decided to call back to ask what type of therapy the doctor practiced. When the person answering the phone couldn’t answer what I thought was a perfectly reasonable and simple question I tried to help her by asking, “Does he follow Freud, Yeung? Is he a Behaviorialist?”

You can’t really hear silence but it’s not like she was saying anything so that’s all there was on the other end of the line. When she did speak it was to mispronounce the names of the two long dead fathers of what we now call ‘talk’ therapy.

I went from being frustrated to disturbed that she couldn’t answer me.

But, realizing that she probably wasn’t get paid enough to know more than how to say “Doctor’s office” and “Please hold” I cut her some slack and asked if there was anyone else in the office who could help me.

So, using one of the skills she had at her command she put me on hold for a moment, after which another female voice came on the line and introduced herself as the office manager, understood that I had a question and asked if I could “please repeat the names I’d said earlier.”

“Sure”, I said and parroted my query.

“Fried?” “You who?” was her response and that pretty much told me all I needed to know (if not about the doctor, then about who he surrounds himself with and who he chooses as his representative to the unsuspecting and often unbalanced public).

“Umm,” she stammered, “I’m not familiar with those names she said, “but I think it’s the last person you said.’

“You’re the first person who’s ever asked that question. I’d ask the doctor but he’s in with a patient at the moment.”

“Think!…you think?!” I thought to myself. (Horrified) that she identified a type of thereapy that a doctor practices (behaviorism) for an actual person, I wanted to ask if she was pulling my leg but what I said was, “I think that’s all the information that I need, thank you.”

Setting aside the fact that she was the ‘office manager’ and the one person in the practice who should know the doctor’s credentials and methods I wondered, “Hadn’t she ever seen a Woody Allen movie or any Rom-coms based in New York City?”
They’re filled with therapist humor. Someone is always; either going to a shrink, making fun of shrinks…or is a Shrink.

I clicked off the line knowing that I wouldn’t be clicking on their website, wasting anymore of my time or printer paper anytime soon.

Update: I was later corrected by a clinical psychologist (who just happens to be a dear friend) who told me that the doctor I was referred to (and was asking about) was a “Psychologist and not a “Psychoanalyst” (a disciple of Feud) so I was asking the wrong question.

Okay…my bad, so the “Freud, Yeung, Behaviorist” query didn’t apply….but still?”

Not to absolve myself of my personal responsibility but shouldn’t they have known that I was barking up the wrong type of analyst’s tree?

Fortunately the following link can explain the Three ‘P’s” (The Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Psychoanalyst) so that you don’t sound like me…the fourth “P”(a ‘Putz’) when you’re shopping for a therapist.

The Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Psychoanalyst: The Differences Between the Three P’s

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