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Sunday Ramblings by Frank Froman

Reprinted with permission of the editor, The Independent Practitioner,  the Bulletin of Psychologists in Independent Practice, Division 42 of the American Psychological Association.

On Neuropsychology...

Sunday Ramblings-Neuropsychology Refuted

Dr Frank Froman
Photo by Ray Arsenault

By Frank Froman
Saturday, October 20, 2001

Neuropsychologists were stunned by medical research that originated from researchers at the University of Bangor. The human brain has been found to serve no purpose.

Studies conducted by Bangor scientists have conclusively proven that the origin of human thought, emotion and behavior is no longer the brain, as had been previously thought. These have migrated quite rapidly in evolutionary terms and are now lodged instead in the tuchus.

The tuchus has been found to be the seat of emotion and wisdom. In addition, it has been identified as the seat of pleasure and in some defiant children, the seat of pain as well.

"We are amazed at these findings", said Dr. Hermann Rump, chief of cognitive research at the University of Bangor. "The tuchus really appears to be fundamental to the locus of personal control."

"There can be no doubt that we have finally uncovered the major cause of obesity as well", chimed a spokesperson for a group of highly qualified bachelors' level therapists, who noted a .985 correlation between tuchus size and obesity. "We will be publishing our understandings in our membership journal, The Highly Illustrated Educational Resource Manual of BS Therapists".

Malformations of the tuchus cause an array of psychological problems, including body dysmorphia, inadequate personality disorder, and in cases with a particularly well-formed tuchus, narcissistic personality disorder. A sore tuchus also causes mild to moderate clinical depression. An extremely sore tuchus has been correlated with antisocial, sadistic and self-defeating personality disorders, as well as major depression. The scrawny tuchus of the Twiggy Age appears to present itself in cases of self-defeating personality and atypical depression, as well as anorexia. Preoccupation with the tuchus causes OCD. Mega-tuchus appears to be associated with difficulty in standing and sitting without saying, "Oy".

Neuropsychologists were reportedly outraged at the news and were unprepared for this paradigm shift. "We spent years studying brain function and structure, and now we find that it has absolutely nothing to do with behavior. Brains simply fill the area behind the eyes. All that money for education and those charts and books and tests, down the drain!", lamented Dr. Robert Karman, who practices in Brea, California. (1)

Managed Care organizations were elated with the news. "We always knew that neuropsychological testing was unnecessary. Now we find that it was irrelevant as well. We'll be reviewing past claims paid and sending out bills for reimbursement plus interest", said Nimda Plotnik (2), spokesperson for the industry.

Graduate students have abandoned research programs in the neuropsychological basis of behavior, though several major universities still plan to teach neuropsychology as mythology. Several Universities are offering partial tuition refunds to recent graduates, along with letters of apology for misrepresentation.

Physical therapists, however, were ecstatic. "We always thought that by getting someone off his/her tuchus, we were really helping them", said Dr. Josephine Uppenatem. " Now we know that it increased blood-flow to the area and directly affected their cognitive and emotional functioning. This research opens a whole new area for us."

Unfortunately, it does appear that everything we know about dominant hemispheres is now backwards. Since the tuchus is wired directly in line with the body, a left dominant person is more apt to be random; and a right, analytic. A few people have a perfectly balanced tuchus and are able to be both at once, not to mention often conceited.

Several grant requests proposing a variety of mapping protocols are stuck in Congress. According to the President, "we're not sure that it's the proper function of the Federal Government to pour money in tuchus studies." Pressure was mounting on the President to fund at least 17 existing lines of research, but to slam shut the door on others not yet established. Senator Harlem Spectator, however, believes that there are important things to be learned from tuchus research, and that an in-depth understanding of how it
functions has the potential to cure many psychological disorders. Scandinavian countries which have fewer inhibitions about conducting research are going ahead full-steam.

Drug company spokesperson Sircan Plotnik added, "We always stated that the mechanism by which our medications worked was unclear. We had long suspected a tuchus-behavior link. We're going to be pouring in billions to understand how the healthy and diseased tuchus affects mood states." A new antidepressant is being developed based on this new research. The path of ingestion has not been decided, though discussions have been underway with the manufacturers of Preparation H.

Parents of older children, interviewed by CNN, were unsurprised by the findings. "I always told my kid that his brains were in his tuchus", said one hapless father. "Now I find out how right I was." His satisfaction, however, was short-lived upon realizing that his own were as well.

Numerous famous people are now opening up with personal stories about their tuchuses. Larry King Live will have a special two-hour show tonight dealing with the people who have had tuchus problems and their success in solving them in 12-step programs and various therapies.

Clinical Psychologists are being offered in-service training designed to expand understanding of the tuchus and its role in causing mental disorders.  Dr. Gordon Herz has put together a 2-day workshop entitled "Neuroproctology and other cranio-tuchus inversions". (3)  Wisconsin will be the first to offer a new graduate program leading to a master's degree in tuchus studies (MITS). A doctorate is planned for 2006.

And finally, a new APA division is being inaugurated to replace the Neuropsychology Division. It is as yet unnamed. Serious consideration is being given to calling it the American Neurotuchus Advocacy League (ANAL).

1.. Quoted with permission and gratitude
2.. No relation to Marve Plotnik of Sedalia, Missouri
3.. Quoted with permission of the highly inventive Dr. Herz.

On Managed Care...

Sunday Ramblings-Single Sentence Counseling

By Frank Froman
Saturday, October 13, 2001

Sunday Ramblings-Single Sentence Counseling

Organized Managed Care (OMC) today released new guidelines for therapists. All treatment will now be authorized in single-sentence format.

"The guidelines are designed to save us millions of dollars, and make therapy compatible with the needs of the McDonald's Generation", said company spokesperson Nimda Plotnik. (1)

"Specifically, we're mandating that all covered insured's receive single-sentence counseling. Therapists with decent training should be able to quickly assess what the problem is, and tell the client how to solve it in one statement. It's not too much to ask, and will save us a ton of money.

Asked for some examples of this new counseling format, Plotnik quoted several.

A therapist in a land-locked Midwest town once saw an employee of the police department who became upset when she viewed pictures of accident scenes that were grizzly.

'What should I do?" asked the beleaguered client.

"Don't look at the pictures anymore", said the therapist.

"Doctor, that's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?"

The doctor remained mute, since to answer would have required another sentence, and that would have necessitated obtaining another authorization from the managed care company.

Another client was in a suicidal crisis. "I can't stand it anymore. I'm going to kill myself. Life isn't worth living." The therapist, a recent graduate of a bachelor's degree program and a 'Qualified Mental Health Professional' responded:

"Look, if you kill yourself and your managed care organization finds out about it, you'll never be able to get health insurance again anywhere."

"Gee, I never realized that. These days, it's hard to get good coverage. Thank you, doctor, thank you." Interestingly, the QMHP did not correct the client's misstatement of her qualifications.

"Doctor, I can't make up my mind about a divorce. On the one hand, I'd like to stay married for the kids, but I can't stand the creep. What do I do?"

"Ask your mother and do the opposite of what she says", said the doctor.

"That's fantastic. I've always done that anyway. Why didn't I think of that?"

Single sentence counseling workshops are scheduled around the country, starting in Evergreen, Colorado. Meanwhile, therapists are urged to learn some of the new single sentence statements to get a leg up on their multi-sentenced non-managed care competitors.

      1..  Try something different. (For obsessives)
      2..  Have you thought of applying for disability? (From bachelor's level
      3..  Keep on doing it, and you'll go blind. (Fundamentalist counseling)
      4..  I know you don't think so, but it could be worse. (Applied fatalism)
      5..  Think about something else, and then do that. (Cognitive behavioral)
      6..  This too will pass. (Existential-philosophical, or what-my-mother-
            used-to-tell-me counseling)
      7..  In a hundred years, it won't make any difference. (Fatalism)
      8..  Suck it up and move on. (US Marine Corps counseling)
      9..  We're all disappointed in love some of the time. (Oprah style
     10.. Heaven doesn't give you more than you can handle. (Religiously
     11.. It's a shame, a real shame. (Dismissive counseling)
     12.. Of course you feel this way. (Carl Rogers)
     13.. I like you just the way you are. (Mr. Rogers)
     14.. I love you just the way you are. (Needs a Ken Pope workshop)
     15.. Don't blame yourself. (For neurotics)
     16.. It's all right to blame yourself. (For psychopaths)
     17.. What's with all this blaming? (For Jewish patients)
     18.. Oh, grow up! (Joan Rivers counseling)
     19.. You will have consequences. (George W. Bush counseling)
     20.. You'll never improve; you're stuck forever. (Paradoxical therapy)
     21.. Stop being a hockey puck. (Don Rickles counseling)
     22.. Do something for someone else. (American Red Cross counseling)
     23.. Confess to your husband that you've run up his credit cards to
            $50,000 and know that he'll find it in his heart to forgive you. (Naïve
     24.. Go home; take off all your clothes, and make mad, passionate love to
            your husband right now. (Dr. Ruth Westheimer counseling)
     25.. Our time is up. (Psychoanalytic psychotherapy)
     26.. Do you really think that worrying will solve this? (Contemporary
     27.. A little anxiety, depression, mixed with some delusions, hallucinations,
           and sleep deprivation is normal. (Who let this person in?)
     28.. Though you may act stupidly, you are not stupid. (Albert Ellis)
     29.. All drinking is bad. (AA counseling)
     30.. An occasional drink won't hurt you. (My doctor's counseling)
     31.. I need a drink too. (Needs no explanation these days)
     32.. There's nothing wrong with a little schmootz. (Neatnik therapy)
     33.. Too much schmootz is bad. (Department of Family Services therapy)
     34.. Into every life a little schmootz must fall. (Shakespearean counseling)

Managed care workshop organizers are combing the literature for condescending platitudes that therapists can learn. "It's all clients need", said Plotnik. "This propaganda about forming relationships is completely overstated. When you get your oil changed, is it important to have a 'relationship' with the guy who does it?"

In anticipation of the success of this program, graduate schools around the country have begun modifying their advanced psychology curricula. The University of Baltimore has received a grant to develop a curriculum in single-sentence therapy. Dr. Leroy Oncegood, head of their department of clinical training, mused that this approach would help clients and clinicians rapidly focus on the one presenting problem and avoid straying into meaningless side issues. According to Oncegood, "people who take their car in for a tune up get a tune up. They don't expect a transmission job. Psychologists should do the same with their clients. All this wandering about checking side-issues is just a way of padding the session." Managed care officials, pleased by his statements, awarded their annual European study trip and a free Dell Laptop computer with a Celeron processor to Oncegood as their token of high esteem.

APA spokespersons have been unavailable for comment, but a managed care thorn residing somewhere in Long Branch, New Jersey, is reported to have stated, on hearing the new guidelines, "(#(($#@*&!%)#)". Translators are still attempting to decode the meaning of that statement, but they acknowledge that it doesn't sound good.

1. No relation to Marve Plotnik of Sedalia, Missouri.

On Diagnostic Nomenclature...

Sunday Ramblings-DSM-Vi Released

By Frank Froman
Friday, August 09, 2002

The long-awaited Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition, i (DSM-Vi) has been officially released by the American Psychiatric Association Press.

Eager early buyers lined up at the nation's bookstores at midnight to buy copies at the moment of release. Barnes and Noble stores in California hired extra security personnel to manage lines which snaked around several city blocks as eager clinicians awaited their personal copies.

The new volume, 688 pages, and its companion book, Approved Treatments for Psychiatric Problems, had sold out in most locations by dawn.

Psychiatrists who penned most of the new diagnostic categories were pleased that they now will have many, many more people to treat. More behavior than ever has been identified as pathological, according to Dr. Doduh Medchek, American Psychiatric Association spokesperson.

New to the diagnostic categories were a host of eating, behavioral and addictive disorders. Once thought to be simple indiscretions, we now have a host of new DSM problems including:

     1. FE. Fressen Excessen. Characterized by insatiable urges to snack.

     2. FFA. Fast Food Addiction. After all the news of the lawsuit, is it any

     3. CRBA. Chinese Restaurant Buffet Addiction. It finally got a separate
         category that was long overdue.

     4. EPO. Eating from the Plates of Others. Needs no explanation. Includes
        a subcategory for eating the French Fries of others at fast food places.

     5. ISH. I'm Still Hungry. Inability to be without food for a period of over
        one hour. Often afflicting teenagers, especially post-pubescent males.

     6. PA. Pepsi Addiction.

     7. FtS. Follow the Smell. An irresistible urge to eat when smelling food
        being prepared. Variant: Inability to abstain from food when others
        around you are eating.

     8. FS. Food Sneaking. Any eating done while hoping one will not be caught
        in the act by family members.

     9. ESU. Eating standing up. A delusion based on the errant thought that
        eating without sitting does not result in weight gain.

    10. JCEPS. Jews Conflicted by Eating Pork and Shellfish.

    11. B & B. Binge and Binge. For people who haven't heard about the
         binge-purge syndrome. Secondary symptom: obesity.

    12. Anorexia Schmanorexia. Parents who doubt that their 16 year old
         daughter's 65 pound weight could be caused by a psychological

    13. BBn. Big Boned. Replaces Morbid Obesity.

    14. CPC. Compulsive Pencil Chewing. Also compulsive pen chewing. Variant:
         compulsive pen clicking.

    15. CF. Compulsive Flossing: defined as flossing 3 or more times a day,
         with active engagement of both adjacent tooth surfaces.

    16. CWD. Compulsive Water Drinking. Can go no longer than 3 minutes
         without a swig.

    17. SBS. Sneezing in Bright Sunlight.

    18. SPA. Addiction to watching South Park on TV.

    19. BMP. Preoccupation with the quantity of excreted bowel material.
         Accompanied by feelings of relief and pride.

    20. BCA. Bagged Carrot Addiction, as manifested by eating the contents
         of one or more bags of peeled carrots daily for two or more weeks.

    21. IA. Internet Addiction, as manifest by spending 12 or more hours per
         day on the World Wide Web for a period of more than 2 weeks.

    22. CCBCD. Catholics Conflicted over using Birth Control Devices.

    23. CCD. Childhood Cooperative Disorder, manifested by the child doing
         what the parent wants when they want it.

    24. SPD. School Perfectionism Disorder, as manifest by the presence of a
         majority of A's in a public or private school curriculum.

    25. HFD. Homework First Disorder, as manifest by a child doing homework
         immediately on coming home from school.

    26. DRD. Driver's Rage Disorder.

    27. DRD, Mild. Flicking off offending motorist.

    28. DRD, Moderate. Throwing tire iron or similar material at offending

    29. DRD, Severe. Removing a portion of the anatomy of offending motorist.

    30. DRD, Profound. Launching the offending motorist with vehicle into high

    31. CPS. Crossover politico syndrome: Democrats liking George W. Bush.

    32. CPS Variant: Republicans longing for the prosperity of the Clinton

    33. Prc-A. Piercing Addiction: 3 or more non-ear parts of the body pierced.
         Add 5th digit to show number of piercings, H or O for hidden or openly

    34. FSS. Fetal Schmo Syndrome, indicating a person who was a Schmo
         even before birth.

    35. NCD. No Clue Disorder: Men surprised when their girlfriends leave after
         they beat them up.

    36. SD. Schmegegie Disorder. Women who stay in relationships where they
         get beaten up, hoping that their boyfriends will change.

    37. Tsoris Minimus. People who complain but have nothing wrong with them.

    38. Tsoris Moderatus. replacing the category, dual diagnoses.

    39. Tsoris Maximus. Time to refer to the new kid who's competing with you
         down the block.

In addition, professional rivalry has now been pathologized. Two examples:

         PRP. Psychiatrists who respect psychologists. A very rare syndrome
         now unseen in New Mexico and spreading. Add fifth digit to indicate
         degree of panic and fear (1-9).

         PWP. Psychologists wishing they were psychiatrists. A sub-branch of
         psychosis NOS.

In a brief article such as this, only a tiny smattering of the new Diagnostic categories can be reviewed. For those of you who have not yet bought the book, the American Psychiatric Association encourages you to shell out $95.00 and pick up your own. That is, unless you want to be diagnosed as:

         PC. Pathologically Cheap, as manifested by refusal to buy the latest DSM
         until your old one wears out.

Editor's note--The intent of this page is satirical and does not necessarily represent views or opinions held or supported by or Dr. William E. Benet--WEB.

Frank Froman, Ed.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Quincy, Illinois, and a member of the American Psychological Association, Division 42, Psychologists in Independent Practice.

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