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Super people from the cornell summer college 05

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[Sep. 22nd, 2005|08:25 pm]
Super people from the cornell summer college 05


For all you aspiring psychologists/doctors, a strategy for making a patient all better:

A patient comes to you. He talks about some generic teenager-problems, etc. Then he talks about how he's really anxious. He mentions many anxious habits (nail-biting, hair-pulling, etc), and caps it all off with obsessive counting. He isn't sure what exactly is causing this anxiety. his mother, who is -in the room the entire time-, says that she thinks it is school related.

Do the following:

-assume that the cause of the anxiety is school-related. because, of course, his mom said so. why wouldn't his mom know what was going on?

-Ask questions about various things, and suddenly start asking questions you've never asked before. Declare that the patient's medication is not working, based on his answers. The patient will be confused by the fact that all of the answers he just gave would have been consistent for several years, if you'd bothered to ask these questions before.

- say something like "oh yeah! when we tested you 10 years ago, we noticed that you had an anxiety problem. I never really thought about a connection"... despite years of him telling you of problems consistent with anxiety. ie: weight loss, inability to sleep, etc.

-Talk about a patient you had a few years ago who you initially thought had ADD, until she mentioned obsessively counting things. Describe the male patient's nervous habits exactly. Mention casually that, oh, that girl ended up being Obsessive-Compulsive.

-Basically say "ok, bye. See you in 3 months." after suggesting some solutions that address the supposed-school-problem. Ignore any possibility that anything could be going on in the life of a teenager that could make them anxious, other than school.

-Bonus: randomly decide to test his hearing, sight, hand-eye-coordination, etc. tell him that his hearing has gotten worse in one ear, but don't really explain how much, or how serious it is.

And then, wait for the patient to go home and realize that you essentially multiplied their percieved problems by... probably ten.

I'm just glad nothing like that would ever happen to me.

Especially not in a circumstance where someone used an analogy in favor of medication... against me... that I used about 100 times at Cornell/in discussions with a friend here.