Health: `Look, mate, whether or not I'm a walking Oedipus complex is no concern of yours'

"Morning doctor"

"Morning Mr Braithwaite. What can I do for you?"

"I'd like to be psychoanalysed please"

"Mphphph"

"Are you all right doctor?"

"I'm sorry. It's the central heating. So you want to be psychoanalysed?

"Yes."

"Well, I'm sure that can be arranged."

"By you."

"Ah."

"Now."

"No"

"Why not?"

"Well, for a start I don't have a Viennese accent. Or a beard. Or a couch."

"Frankly I'm offended by your pejorative Hollywood stereotype."

"And also, I've only got six minutes per patient."

"Well you could make a start."

"Right... well... um...."

"You don't know how to do it, do you?"

"Haven't the foggiest. How do you feel about that?"

"Oh, you're getting the hang of it now."

"No, I wasn't trying to..."

"You must be a natural then..."

"Look, the thing is, I don't feel I can psychoanalyse you because a) I haven't been trained to do it and b) I think it's bollocks."

"Oh dear. So you don't want to search for hidden meanings in my dreams and childhood memories?"

"Nope."

"And you don't want to peel off the onion-skin layers of my unconscious repression?" "Definitely not."

"And you don't want me to transfer on to you?"

"You stay that side of the desk or I'll call security."

"It seems to me you're quite closed and hostile." "What are you doing?"

"Since childhood, you've suffered a tremendous repressed jealousy of your father's sexual access to your mother..."

"Look, mate, whether or not I'm a walking Oedipus complex is no concern of yours."

"So you're familiar with Freud then?"

"Only enough to know he vas no scientist. Most of his theories were pseudo- scientific rubbish. His experiments were on a handful of patients with no controls and he proved bog all. And there's no evidence that his psychoanalysis has any value in the treatment of psychological disturbance."

"What about Bertha Pappenheim?"

"What about her?"

"She was Freud's most famous patient. He psychoanalysed her, she had a cathartic reaction to her father's death and her hysterical symptoms disappeared."

"She didn't have hysteria, she had tubercular meningitis. Her symptoms returned soon after seeing Freud and she died shortly afterwards."

"I didn't know that."

"Freud did. But he carried on blathering on about unconscious impulses and their subtle expressions."

"Your stethoscope is a penis."

"Absolutely. Now if ...

"But you haven't offered me any advice"

"Stop ferreting around in the past, forget yesterday's emotions and concentrate on today's thoughts."

"Carry on. I like that."

"Learn to challenge and stamp out your automatic negative thoughts by seeing how unrealistic and irrational your predicament is."

"More, more... "

"This simple realisation will enable you to change your emotional state. Every thought you have effects your mood. So the more positive thoughts, the better you feel."

"Brilliant. What's it called?"

"Cognitive behavioural therapy. It's truly a therapy for the nineties... "

"Can I have some of that then?" "Not yet. I haven't finished Dr Raj's book. Try me in a week's time."

"What do I do till then?' "Um ... just hang loose."

"Like a goose?"

"Like a positive thinking goose, with no repressed emotions."

"That sounds great."

"Doesn't it just."

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