Stories you can use to start conversation or to add interest to speeches or presentations

Resources for Speakers - Anecdotes About Therapy Psychology and Mental Disorders

Therapy and Mental Problems or Disorders

Kiss Me Kate TV program about therapist telling friend she'd had some of her clients for years "What? Don't they ever get better?"

Advice Columns

Dear Sharon column (now defunct) in Auckland paper - woman wrote in saying "she was penetrated by aliens, sometimes weekly "("sounds just like marriage, dear" says Sharon) - the writer was actually asking advice as to what to wear ("charcoal I think, dear")

Mental Problems or Disorders

1 in 3 doctors show signs mental illness - mind you 1 in 4 of general population does too (so if you have 3 friends and they're OK, it must be you)

Mental Problems or Disorders

Multiple Personality Disorder - not distinguishable from hypochondria - 21st century equivalent of 'possession by demons'

Therapy and Mental Problems or Disorders

The British may pride themselves on their sense of humour but they are really an oversensitive, paranoid nation prone to gelotophobia - a condition in which sufferers always believe the joke is on them. That, at least, is the punchline to one of the ideas presented at the International Symposium on Humour and Laughter; a six-day 'humour summer school' hosted in Granada by a US-based group of psychologists, sociologists and linguists. A typical gelotophobe hears a stranger's laugh and believes he or she is the butt of the joke. In extreme cases this can induce sweating, palpitations, trembling or simply freezing up.

Prescription Drugs

Huge increase in prescribed drugs - number Americans taking anti-depressants far exceeds highest estimates people suffering depression

Prescription Drugs

Serotonin boosters such as Prozac sometimes have interesting side effects - mainly sexual libido drop, but also facial tics, involuntary pelvic spasms and, (5%) orgasm when sneeze or yawn

Bartenders as Therapists

Getting bartenders to stop doing armchair psychiatry: And enlist them to helping with the real thing. Military veterans face a host of potential issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, but identifying those at risk and getting them to enroll in programs intended to help them can be a challenge. So, a few researchers surveyed bartenders at Veterans of Foreign Wars establishments, to find out if they thought they could help out. "Bartenders reported close, family-like relationships with the veterans and indicated that veterans shared their problems quite often," they found. Further, the mixologists were willing to take some basic training in recognizing signs of serious problems, and refer those people to professional services.

VR vid games as therapy. You get diff status levels for diff abilities, so you can improve scores, and you level up each time you negotiate a challenging task.

Why do people pay therapists $200 a hour to listen to their problems? "Bc I can whine about the most trivial shit that's bothering me, without being judged, which just doesn't happen in the real world.


At first, Freud sat on the couch and the patient sat at his desk, but he changed places after discovering that his pens were disappearing.

In “Civilization and Its Discontents,” Freud proffered the theory that sexual impulses are repressed in order to enable us to live in society, and that men sublimate their desire for intercourse by playing golf.

Freud confided to his friend Fleiss that he gave up sex at age forty because it interfered with his work. He told Fleiss that he could write nothing legible during it.

Exercise as Therapy

French doctor advocating strenuous exercise as counter to depression - as effective as drugs - sheer effort of exercising hard forces you to stop concentrating on the dark pessimistic thoughts, at least temporarily

Modern Life

Suggestion that depression not actually an illness, but simply a reaction to way we understand our lives - not what happens to us but how we interpret - looking at it this way frees us, bc since we've created the interpretation, we can uncreate

Helping The Mega Rich

Is It Really a "Problem" If 99% Wish They Had It? Among those struggling with psychological issues in modern America are the rich "one-percenters" (especially the mega-rich "one-percent of one-percenters"), according to counselors specializing in assuaging guilt and moderating class hatred. London's The Guardian, writing from New York, found three such counselors, including two who barely stopped short of comparing the plight of the rich-rich with the struggles of "people of color" or out-of-closet gays. Sample worries: isolation (so few rich-rich); stress, caused by political hubbub over "inequality"; and insecurity (is my "friend" really just a friend of my money?).

Therapy and Mental Problems or Disorders

Br magazine for therapists called 'There There' instead of using case studies for examples they analysed Hollywood celebrities - modern fairytales of overcoming hardships for success


In 60's people took drugs to make world weird - now world is weird and people take prozac to make it normal.

30% of people get some benefit from antipsychotic drugs, but we can't predict which 30%. Prob best bet is to let them try them and choose foer themselves the ones which make them feel better.


Therapists often surprised by client getting profound insights from some throwaway remark therapist made as showing client to the door end session


Moving to Los Angeles to be in Star Trek 30 years ago not only launched Sir Patrick Stewart’s career into outer space, it introduced the British actor to therapy. He tells ES magazine that he liked to have two therapists in the room at the same time to play his parents. “My second wife used to say: ‘When Patrick speaks about group therapy he doesn’t mean a group of patients and a therapist, he means a group of therapists and him’.”

High Expectations

We demand more of life than there is - we have very high standards of happiness - intolerant of our mood states - shouldn't feel glorious all time

Getting from one end of your life to the other is about negotiating a series of obstacles. Some find this more difficult than others.

Book Extracts on Therapy