Jan 04

New Year Resolutions: Some Pertinent Quotes About Our Goals

All the wisdom in the world about New Year resolutions not working never stops them from happening. Something about the calendar page turning, something about tradition, something about the excesses of the preceding holidays…

Some interesting and/or funny quotes about New Year’s resolutions found online:

Joey Adams: May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!

Eric ZornMaking resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.

Jim Gaffigan (from Twitter): My new years resolution for 2010? I will be less laz

Jay Leno: Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average, which means you’ve already met your New Year’s resolution.

Mark Twain: New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

Anonymous: A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.

Jan 03

New Year’s Resolutions? Or a Different Kind of Goal-Setting?

New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken, goes the saying. Or was that rules are made to be broken? Well, whatever. The thing is, those things—things like that—usually do get broken. I’d quote some grim statistics on this, but I don’t really believe in those either.

According to USA.gov, the most popular yearly New Year’s resolutions are as follows (and why does the government have this kind of info?):

  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat healthy food
  • Get a better education
  • Get a better job
  • Get fit
  • Lose weight
  • Manage debt
  • Manage stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Save money
  • Take a trip
  • Volunteer to help others

Issues regarding drinking, eating and exercise, weight loss, stress, smoking, etc….all familiar stuff to therapists and clients.

But if more thought doesn’t go into a resolution than just saying it, it’s just a wish, isn’t it—versus a real outcome that’s likely to happen. For example, you want to cut down your drinking? That’s a resolution. And…so…? Well, good luck with that.

Some things to actually consider: How much will you cut down? By when? Have you done this before? If so, how’d you do? Do you have people you can tell your resolution to and/or report to? Will they be supportive? How can you make the journey an enjoyable choice versus a self-assigned punishment?

Goal-setting can help change that too-broad-based resolution thingie into something more attainable. Along these lines, here are suggestions from website Goal Setting Guide:

  • Make it specific  
  • Make it realistic
  • Make it known
  • Make it measurable by time
  • Make it fun and rewarding

Okay, then—let’s do it—turn a resolution into a goal:

My resolution? To make no more New Year’s resolutions.

Make it specific? I will never make a resolution again. Not this year, not next year, not any year.

Make it realistic? When someone close to me mentions resolutions, I’ll listen politely, but stay mum. (You know—a realistic portrayal of a certain type of therapist.)

Make it known? I’m telling all of you, aren’t I?

Make it measurable? Next year (and the next, and so on) I’ll have no resolutions to look back on with regret and shame.

Make it fun and rewarding? Oh boy oh boy, a whole year/lifetime to never think or talk about resolutions again!! When can we celebrate?

Jan 02

“The Therapist Song” As Performed By David Hyde Pierce

What better way to start the new year on this blog called Minding Therapy than to post about “The Therapist Song” (or Therapy Song or Therapy Rap), a ditty that makes fun of therapists—maybe clients a little bit too—but mostly therapists. And let’s not forget that therapists are often clients too.

Sometimes it’s been called “The Therapy Rap” as well, and it’s performed by actor David Hyde Pierce, who played psychiatrist Niles Crane on TV’s Frasier (1993-2004).

An interesting tidbit about Pierce that’s related somewhat to therapy: In 1982, the actor, who had graduated from Yale in 1981, actually made his Broadway debut in Beyond Therapy, a farcical comedy by Christopher Durang—though he portrayed neither therapist nor client. He was a waiter.

At an event in 1997, he apparently introduced “The Therapist Song” thusly: “Playing a therapist on television does not qualify you to practice therapy. Well, in California, it does. But in reality, to practice therapy, you have to have training, you have to have a degree, you have to have clients, you have to have a song… Actually, I have a song, but I couldn’t possibly perform it for you here now…”

According to DHPZone, here are the lyrics to “The Therapy Rap”:

So you walk into my office and you’re feeling kind of low
You’re depressed, confused, and anxious, you’ve got no place to go
Well, I’m the one to talk to,I’m the man who understands
You just take a hundred fifty bucks and pop it in my hands
And hit the couch, hit the couch

So you say you hate your mommy and your dad was gone a lot
You had intimate relations with your pet dog Spot
Now you need some words of wisdom, need some help to find your way
Just relax upon my sofa, I know just the thing to say
I say, uh-huh… uh-huh… uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh
Say how’s that make you feel

Second verse:
There’s a lady on my ledge and she’s looking mighty fine
But that chicken suit she’s wearing says she’s out of her mind
Lady, step in through my window, watch your head, you’ll want to crouch
Lay your eggs upon my desk and park your beak upon my couch
Hit the couch, hit the couch

Now this Chicken Lady’s crazy, there’s no doubt, I needn’t ask it
She’s a few eggs short of an Easter basket
So what’s a man to say to a lady who’s a bird
I can solve all of her problems with just one little word
I say, uh-huh, say it with me now
I say, uh-huh, say it a little louder
Now uh-huh, once again uh-huh, once again uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh
Say how’s that make you feel

Here’s a man I’ve been his shrink for seventeen years
We’ve shared a lot of laughter, we’ve shared a lot of tears
But now he says he’s healthy,says his therapy is through
Says he’s moving on, well I’ve got a word for you
I say HEY! That’s my word for him
I say HEY! Listen to me Jim.

I have got a mortgage, leased a BMW
I’ve got a wife who’s like a refugee from “Taming Of The Shrew”
So you may say you’re healthy, no if’s or and’s or but’s
But if you think you’re getting out of here, well buddy, you’re nuts!
Hit the couch
Hit the couch
Hit the couch
Hit the… I’m sorry, our time is up
Hit the street!

Dec 30

“30 Rock” Therapy: Jack Role-Plays Tracy’s Shrink

Coworkers. Often they become kind of a second family—and sometimes they feel as or more important than your real one. If you’ve had some time off for the holidays, perhaps you’re missing them. If so, try the following episode of sitcom 30 Rock on for size.

On 30 Rock, which is about the production of a sketch comedy show similar to Saturday Night Live, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) is often both troubled and troubling to those around him. But he still seems loved and appreciated for who he is.

In one particular 30 Rock episode from Season Two, several years ago, his boss, Jack (Alec Baldwin) brings in a therapist to offer some needed assistance to Tracy regarding his relationships with his (real) family. The shrink, however, clearly isn’t up to the formidable task that is Tracy. Nor does she know (how to handle) Jack.

From Wikipedia: “…Jack role-plays Tracy’s father, Tracy, and Tracy’s mom, among several other people from Tracy’s childhood, conveying the message that even though Tracy’s parents may have divorced, they still loved him. This comforts Tracy, and affirms that while he loves his family, they are crazy, and he needs to stay away from them. Tracy hugs Jack, and tells him that he is the only family he needs.”

Some Featured Favorite Quotes on IMDB

Tracy Jordan: I don’t need the therapy! I’m just mentally ill!

Tracy: [to his psychiatrist] Who’s crazier, me or Ann Curry?

Tracy’s Father: Tracy, don’t stare directly at the sun. It’ll make you crazy. Tracy Jordan: You’re not my dad!

Dec 29

“Easy A”: A User-Friendly Supportive Family On Film

Whereas the top critics on website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film Juno, the subject of yesterday’s post, a rare 100% rating, Easy A (2010) fared almost as well, with a 94%.

In Easy A Emma Stone plays teenager Olive, and Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson her parents, Dill and Rosemary “…who join Juno’s parents in the Pantheon of Parental Admirability.” (Yes, it’s another Roger Ebert quote!) (You wanna make something of it?)

From the film’s studio, Sony Pictures, we get a description of Olive’s parents as “hilariously idiosyncratic”—and here’s what’s said about the plot: “After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ which she is currently studying in school — until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.”

Like Juno for Ellen Page, Easy A seemed to launch the film career of its young lead. Tom Long, Detroit News, calls Easy A “an extremely witty, inventive, sweet and perceptive coming-out party for Emma Stone.” The movie’s trailer:

A cute scene between Olive, her little brother, and her parents that gives a good idea of how nicely they interact and mesh:

Fear not. Olive does find her way in the end—and in a way that can do her and her family proud. Andrew O’Hehir, Salon: “This is a breezily rebellious film that challenges all our oh-so-serious nostrums about teenagers and sex and family life, a bittersweet song of innocence and experience that’s often very funny and hardly ever cruel.”

Like Juno, a teen-oriented film even adults can appreciate.