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Crazy: Notes On and Off the Couch Hardcover


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Crazy: Notes On and Off the Couch + Love's Executioner: & Other Tales of Psychotherapy + The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076276483X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762764839
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The life, times, and thoughts of a New York therapist are put on display in a candid account of what goes on behind the doctor’s door—and in his head—during a day filled with patients and self-doubt. Tackling serious mental-health subjects without being overly reverent, shrinktalk.net blogger Dobrenski maintains a snappy pace. Patients are not spared his keen observations, which help to answer the vexing question: Am I paranoid, or does my shrink think I'm crazy—and sloppy? . . . But Dobrenski also puts himself under the microscope. . . . Clean, honest writing makes for an engaging read.” —Kirkus Reviews

 
"Most people who get into psychology as a profession do it because they're crazy, and it's their way of healing themselves. The problem is, they never admit this fact to themselves or to anyone else. Dr. Rob does what very few psychologists ever do: He looks at himself with the same eye for analysis that he uses for his patients.” --Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

“It takes a truckload of guts to write a book this honest about one’s profession. To pen one as funny and insightful as Crazy is, simply, amazing. You’ll never view therapy in the same light again.” --The Philadelphia Lawyer, author of Happy Hour Is for Amateurs

“If you ever wondered what your shrink was like out of office hours, then this is the book for you. A fascinating, thought-provoking and at times hilarious, read.” --Robin Baker, author of Sperm Wars and Primal

"Fun for anyone who’s wondered what it’s like to make a living by listening to other people’s troubles all day." - Library Journal

"A refreshing memoir...a solid step in the right direction of reminding patients that treatment can be a two-way street."  - Shelf Awareness

From the Inside Flap

An average day in the life of a psychologist is a frenetic one. A 9 a.m. appointment to help a woman manage a husband who won’t take out the garbage (at least with his pants on) quickly shifts to an emotionally intense session with a convicted rapist at 10 a.m. After talking with
a child about his fears of school an hour later, the psychologist then meets with a therapist to deal with his own anxieties, followed by lunch with his socially-phobic colleague who’s already had four martinis by 1 p.m. All this, and it’s
only Monday.
 
What most of us don’t realize is that while mental health professionals are trying to help people resolve their problems, they often suffer from depression and anxiety, take antipsychotics, self-medicate with booze, and struggle in their own relationships. In other words, they can be just as “crazy” as their patients.
 
Crazy is the story of how one mental health professional deals with his own personal problems and those of the people he treats. Part exposé and part memoir, it reveals what therapists really think about their profession, their colleagues, their patients, and their own lives.
Ultimately, Dobrenski’s riveting, sometimes humorous, and deeply insightful narrative brings us to one oddly comforting conclusion—namely, the therapist’s not-so-secret secret: We’re all crazy.

More About the Author

Rob Dobrenski, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2001. After incessantly answering the questions, "what's it really like to be a shrink, to listen to people's problems, to work with 'crazy' people all day?" he began writing about his job on the web at ShrinkTalk.Net in 2004. Despite following all ethical and legal guidelines about patient confidentiality, he was let go from his job because of his writing. He then went into private practice and continued to write about his work, with particular attention to the fact that both he and his colleagues seemed to be just as neurotic as the people they treated. His first book, "Crazy: Notes on and off the Couch" uses both self-deprecating humor and descriptions of extreme psychological distress to delve into how shrinks work with and feel about their patients, and how they attempt to manage their own dysfunctional lives.

Dr. Rob Dobrenski currently lives and works in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
All of them rendered a complete waste by this short book.
Amazon Customer
His thoughts on marriage are brilliant and I truly hope his next book is a funny guide to marriage and relationships.
Judy McGuire
They'll think, "oh, a shrink is going to bash his patients, I love reading about crazy people!"
cnbuZZ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Keiser on June 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had preordered "Crazy: Notes On and Off the Couch" after I became an avid reader of Dr. Dobrenski's blog "ShrinkTalk.Net". Always humorous, highly charming and at times vulnerable - Dr. Dobrenski's ability to vacillate between his time in graduate school (years ago) to his own personal issues, to his (presently) growing private practice will make you understand that Shrinks have their own trials and tribulations. It's refreshing to take a peek into the mind of a psychologist, both in how he sees & thinks about his patients as well as himself. This book makes it easy to relate to him as a fellow human being; there's no condescending tone or pretension which is often associated with Psychology books, and for that I am grateful! A truly enjoyable, entertaining yet informational read....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Billy on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Rudius Media alum, it's hard not to compare Dr. Rob's Crazy, to the works of Tucker Max and The Philadelphia Lawyer. And, not being one for doing things the hard way, I won't avoid such a comparison.

Tucker has sex with midgets and craps across a hotel lobby. Phila Lawyer drunk drives evidence away from the scene of a crime and shows up to court in even worse states. Dr. Rob's work, the professional things he deals with in an office, for pay, licensed under the law, make those other stories look like child's play. Which is a bit ironic, given Dr. Rob's childish appearance.

Crazy is an intensely well rounded look at the life of a psychologist, both in terms of the patients treated and the mental battles the doctor himself deals with. There's a good deal of humor up front, with a blind patient who finds driving on the highway therapeutic, a high school Screech-type who makes the entirely understandable mistake of confusing agnosticism with terrorism, and a good helping of schadenfreude as Rob tries to cope with not breaking up with a girl he was never really in a relationship with in the first place.

But, it's no surprise that the world of mental disease isn't all fear of sunshine and imagined rainbows. We also see patients struggle with loved ones who have died, accidents that should have killed them, being the victim of sexual assault, and also being the perpetrator. Some patients appear to recover fully, while others are faced with slugging through a life where the best case scenario is marginal improvement.

The writing is gripping, with an appropriate amount of gravitas, while also being self aware that the doctor doesn't have all the answers, and that sometimes there aren't any answers to begin with.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tania on June 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I devoured it in one reading. This book is very well organized, in each chapter you will learn about all the relevant conditions the author is treating, experience his journey and empathize with his patients, and laugh hysterically. All while gaining insight on the profession, questioning your own views of mental illness, and of course wondering if you yourself, are too, crazy! Highly Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bunnynyc on March 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading Dr. Dobrenski's book is of great help for me to have a peek at the world of psychologists (or some 'higher level' : psychiatrists).

The writer is very good story teller.
The book is well organized by two main stream, one is the patients the doctor sees and the other is how the writer himself sees his own psychologist.

It illustrated how psychologists do their job and provide a different view about patients rather than the stereotyping 'crazy' people, so that the readers would understand that at some point being 'crazy' is almost just like something we would experience during the time we go towards death. Some of us do well and we move on, some need the doctors help to finally move on, and some unfortunately will be disturbed by the disease through their life. And therefore there is no point to call people seeing a shrink 'crazy'.

It insipired me that most of the time things exist for a reason, such as mom's nagging in childhood, heart-breaking break up of first love, fear of losing a partner. And once you find out the exact reason / weakness, and work on to conqure it, most of the time you'll be good to move on.

I'm very thankful that Dr. Dobrenski's book taught me to avoid using 'vague' words such as 'upset' 'crazy' 'creepy' or 'mad', and be specific and honest in communications with other people.

It's a page turner to me. And it's one of the few books that I would read more than once. Because every time I read it, there are some situations recalled my own memories when I didn't realize I needed someone like Dr. Dobrenski to guide me to walk through the difficulties. Although I moved on with my good life now, reading it still and finally clear up those old myth in my heart and helps me to truly let things go.

If possible, I recommend everyone read through this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessi Broz on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny AND relevant! A must read for all mental health professionals. Great way to discuss ethics in a relevant and meaningful way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
then, read this book. It explains, in the clearest terms possible, why the brain doesn't "just snap out of it" and why talking in a therapeutic setting will make the pain easier to bear. Thanks, Doc!
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