Tag Archives: psychotherapy

The Return of Dr. Oliver Cuddles

You may remember a few years back when I attended the farewell party for Dr. Oliver Cuddles, psychotherapist extraordinaire. Not only was he retiring but he was heading out on some travels to exotic places around the world. Luckily for me, he’s back in town, just in time to provide me with some pro bono counseling in my time of unemployed need.

We had an emergency session this morning. He came to my house, stretched out on my couch and ordered a turkey sandwich. After much fussing over what to serve him instead, since we’re vegetarians in this house (except for the dog, who happens to adore eating flesh), he ended up with scrambled eggs and toast with a shot of whiskey on the side. Not much has changed, I’m afraid, except he did buy a new hat in Taiwan.

Eventually, we got down to business.

dr cuddles couch 300

Dr. Cuddles: HELLLLOOO!

Rebecca: Hi, Dr. Cuddles.

Dr. C: Well, you’re looking frightful, my dear.

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A Rocky Start For Dr. Oliver Cuddles

When we last saw Dr. Oliver Cuddles, he was preparing to embark on a sabbatical from his psychiatric practice of 23 years. The purpose of the sabbatical was two-fold: 1. To enter into intense psychotherapy of his own and 2. To explore a latent interest in camping.

Now, just several weeks into the sabbatical, Dr. Cuddles finds himself untethered and drifting for the first time in his life. His first choice for an analyst, Dr. Phil, wasn’t available due to an ongoing television commitment. His second choice, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, was not taking on new patients.

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Dr. Oliver Cuddles Invited Me To His Farewell Party

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome To My Party!

RC:  Hi, Dr. Cuddles! I was sad to hear that you’re closing your office after so many years of helping deeply troubled people.

Dr C: Yes, yes. But it’s time to take a break and uncover my authentic self, much like a gardener puts on gloves and goes out to the garden in the springtime to pick up soggy piles of old leaves only to reveal… grubs.

RC: But you’re Dr. Cuddles, psychotherapist extraordinaire, you must know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, how can your patients ever know who they are? Besides, what else will you do?

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Dare To Be Average

Lorna Martin, the author of the memoir Girl on the Couch, had a reasonably “good” life. She worked as a writer for the Observor. She had a loving family and a group of girlfriends. But when she found herself involved in a love triangle that was threatening to become a love square, she decided to begin psychotherapy in order to get down to the bottom of things.

While I tend to think we are just about one block away from the end of Memoir Street, another one always pops up that catches my eye. I wonder, “Is there anything new to tell?” And in this case in particular, “Is there anything new to tell us about therapy?” As mentioned before, this is not a book about what we would refer to as “mental illness” but more about the feeling and position in life of being blocked. Or maybe it could be better described as feeling as if you are forever waking up in the middle of the woods with no idea how you got there and even less of an idea about how to get out. It’s confusion wrapped up with lack of perspective, ingrained habits, runaway emotions and bad memories. And yes, it’s very real, even if it lacks a name like manic depression (perhaps Martin defines it best through the use of the term “normal neurotic”).

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