Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I learned in school today Part 2: Shut my mouth. Jokes unwelcome.

graffiti confusion. I like.
I am quickly learning that jokes in clinical settings with supervisors and professors are not welcome as a therapist. Not only are they not welcome, but they are to be completely ignored. Not only are they to be completely ignored, but you will be looked at like you are an 6 year old alien. I'm learning to hold my tongue to say the least. Clinical Psychology = jokes are bad. In my head...this crap is heavy... you HAVE to lighten it up. But no, the response I get is only a little less of a tough crowd than when Michael Richards went crazy  and dropped N-bombs in his stand up. (That was super crazy of him BTW, what was he thinking, "I have had a successful career thus far.... I want to end it immediately.")

Stuff that hasn't gone over well in the last week:

Class last week: We had just finished watching the most boring movie I have ever seen of a play therapy session with a little girl who had been having trouble sleeping.
Professor: So can any of you recommend anything for a way to help the kid fall asleep?
Alien: (under breath..) ya... tell the mom to play that movie for her.
Professor: Excuse me? (paired with the most serious death stare ever)
Alien: Oh.. uh nothing. Maybe uhhh.. advise the mom on a token economy reward system? (nice recovery points)

Meeting with my supervisor last night. We had finished talking about the kid clients we shared.
Supervisor: Ok cecilia, well I think were done. I don't think we have any other kids together.
Alien: Ya. Im pretty sure I would know if we had kids together. (chuckle)
Supervisor: (blank death stare) Ummm... what?
Alien: Oh nothing. Sorry. Uhhh.. see you next week. 

 Class today. We were reviewing the case file of a girl who ran away to live with her boyfriend in Idaho.
Professor: So what do you guys think?
Alien: Well... what is in Idaho? What part did she move to and why?
Professor: Ummm... Moscow I think.
Alien: Oh.. it seems we have a bigger problem. 
Professsor: What's that?
Alien: Well.... she seems to have actually moved to Russia.
Professor: (blank stare)
Alien: Sorry. Ya. bad joke. Moscow, Idaho. Got it. 

Class today half hour later. We are reviewing a case of another girl.
Professor: (describing the case for 5 min) blah blah.. client comes in presenting with the problem that she has bitten her step dad and made him bleed...blah blah blah. What would you diagnose the client with?
Alien: Well... Axis 1 I would say either maybe Bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.
Professor: Any Axis 2 Clinical Diagnosis?
Alien: Yes... Vampire
Professor: (blank stare round 500) What?
Alien: Just kidding. Biting is very serious. I am sorry....

Anyway... back to class for the next couple hours. Definitely keeping my mouth on lock.

SIDE NOTE: Clients cases were hypothetical case vignettes in class and Im not breaking confidentiality. Don't you worry. Also... I can refrain from making jokes during real therapy sessions. I have boundaries... gimme a little credit.


  1. I don't know you from a bar of soap (I was brought upon your blog via the blog of my friend Leah C Euser) so please excuse my urge to comment (I don't usually do this...really) but please for the love of Jebus, DO NOT make any attempt at keeping your mouth shut in situations like the above. Your verbal farts are rather entertaining me and I look forward to more of them.

    I'm beginning to think you aren't a real person and that maybe you are a chaacter from a Miranda July story. Anyways, keep it coming, thanks for the laughs.

  2. CEC! Okay, I am going on minute 47 of reading your blog and becoming more aware of how many times I have commented.....but whatever, I am super cool....

    That said:

    This also made me laugh out loud, because it is ME. I make jokes at work in our clinical meetings, even though they are consistently met with the "what the crap? this is very serious business and although we all spend 40+ hours a week pouring our lives into this, joking about it means we clearly don't care."

    my bad.