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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Therapists Gone Wild

I've been thinking about this post for a while, trying to figure out how to tie together some threads that, in my mind, are related, but not sure whether I can communicate that clearly in writing just how they are related. Here goes nothin'.

In recent months, some lovely blogfriends have posted, shall we say, risque photographs of themselves. Well, not exactly of themselves, but of their particular body parts. These photos are, depending upon the blogger depicted, adorable, astonishing, amusing, amazing, terrific, too-much, teasing . . . you know, other "A" and "T" words. I have no problem with people in or out of their undies on their blogs. And that ain't never happenin' here.

There are many reasons it ain't never happenin' here. The first one that comes to mind is the "fat and forty-something" factor. Most of the blogfriends depicted have been skinny-twenties or flirty-thirties . . . and then there's Bucky, who's a genre unto herself. There's also the "it ain't me" factor. Even when I was a skinny-twenty, that's just not something that I would have done. On the internet. (I did email such an image to Jif the day the Kohl's cashier tried to have me put in the old folks' home, but I digress.) But the BIGGEST reason (yes, even bigger than my ass) I won't be joining in this particular type of blogfun is that I'm somebody's therapist. Quite a few somebodies. And I have seen the pain, the hurt, the confusion, the news coverage, that a therapist in public in her underwear can cause.

In the Spring of 1999, a Baltimore psychologist, 42-year-old Elizabeth Feil, was arrested and charged with such things as "accessory after the fact" and "harboring a fugitive," after she allegedly helped her prison-inmate/client/boyfriend, Byron Lester Smoot, and one of his associates, escape from the Maryland Correctional Institution. I am not lying. And it gets worse. During the investigation, the police found photographs of Feil, dressed in a black bustier/teddy sort of thing, garter belt and stockings, in Smoot's cell.

Feil's husband said that he took the photographs of his wife while they were on vacation. And when the police showed up at his door and told him where they found the photographs, he said he believed that his wife may have had an affair with Smoot while he was behind bars. Resisting the urge to say, "Ya think?"

He also said, "I thought we were deeply in love. You have no idea how devastated I am by this."

And I must tell you, the husband was not the only one. As you might imagine, the local TV news had a helluva time with this story. How often do you get to put an attractive psychologist on TV in lingerie? And call it legitimate news? Woohoo! So, I saw this chick all over the place, and cringed a little each time, because I am a therapist. Then I got a call from a family member. And this family member told me that her husband (also a family member, of course) was freaking out because his therapist was on the news in her underwear, on accounta she was helping her armed-robber boyfriend/client escape from prison!

Now, this female family member, known for her sensitivity, was having a terrible time not laughing her ass off at the situation in which her husband found himself. Or, more to the point, the situation in which he found his therapist (to recap: on the news, in the garter belt). This female family member quoted her husband as saying, as they lay in bed watching the 11 o'clock news, "OH MY **C*ING G**!!! THAT'S MY *U**ING THERAPIST!!!!" ~!@#$ %^&**** +_)(*&&^%$$#!! .....

He says he wouldn't have used that kind of language. I wasn't there. But I did talk to him about the situation, at his wife's request. He was having a little trouble understanding why such a thing would affect him so strongly. (Incidentally, by his account, and by his wife's, Feil was a good therapist. ) I assured him that his reaction was absolutely normal and appropriate. The therapist/client relationship is, or can be, an extraordinarily intimate relationship. There is often a profound level of trust present. And part of that trust, although it is not often discussed specifically, is that the client trusts he won't ever see the therapist half-naked on the news while there's a statewide police hunt going on for her, with bloodhounds, because she has helped her prison boyfriend escape. That just feels like a betrayal. We like to hold our therapists up to higher standards of non-jackass-ishness than we do other people. We put them up there with clergy, elementary school teachers, moms, where these things are concerned. The public has a right to expect that such people won't expose themselves.

That experience prompted me to look at my own life. I renewed my personal commitment to never have nekkid or semi-nekkid pictures available to the world. And of course, my commitment not to have sex with clients OR prison inmates, much LESS both in one. And...oh, yea, no helping anyone escape from an actual correctional facility. In fact, nothing that will ever give the media cause to use my name and "tracked by bloodhounds" in the same sentence.

It also prompted me to look at my own therapist. Oh, yes, I have a therapist. I probably always will, in one form or another. I am one who believes it is obscene to be a therapist without ever having been a client. I also believe that for a therapist in solo practice, like I am, it is essential that I have someone other than myself monitoring my crazy-gauges. Anyhow, when I selected the therapist that I had at that time, I was very discriminating. I asked about her education, her experience, whether she worked with other therapists much, her preferred theories of psychotherapy, etc. But I had never asked her if there were any nekkid pictures of her that might end up on the news! And now I felt I must.

"I need to ask you to give me your word that you will not show up on my TV in black lingerie," I said to her.

"You don't have to worry about that," she says. "Black is not my color." Smartass.

That family member and I are not the only ones who have trouble with the notion of "therapists gone wild." An entire episode of the poisonously funny "Curb Your Enthusiasm" was dedicated to this sort of thing. I think it was called "The Thong." The main character, Larry David, and his friend, comedian Richard Lewis, are both seeing this awesome therapist. The BEST either has ever had, and they've had plenty. Until one day, when Larry goes to the beach. And sees his therapist there in the sand. IN A FREAKIN' THONG. (Cue Sisqo: thong th thong thong thong) They both agree, they can no longer sit and pour out their hearts to this thongapist.

So, again, it ain't happenin' here. And if you are a therapist, for the love of Freud and Jung, don't go there. And if you are a client, ask your therapist not to ever do you like that. Oh, you might think you want to see your therapist in his or her underwear. But you don't. Have I ever steered you wrong? YOU DON'T.

48 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Why what prompted this post lovely Susie? Have you been getting lots of fan mail requesting to see you in all your glory?

Or do you just like to say words like thong or black lingere alot?

Most people are not very comfortable with public nudity, virtual or otherwise, but I still think the fact that you emailed your hubby with some naughtyness just ROCKS. And this post of yours is now going to prompt me to do a post I have been thinking of doing for some time now.

But I'll blame it on you. heheehe

p.s. your not my therapist so I CAN still want to see you in your undies heh. Who says 40's isnt beautiful?

 
Blogger Susie said...

Haa! Only, you, Jess. But I must admit, it's fun to say thong th thong thong thong! Ohlordhavemercy, what on earth are you going to post and blame on me?

 
Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Susie,

Don't make Jif mad. Booby pics will circulate.

I am so proud of you for not showing me your parts. I saw Jessica's and was not ready for that...on my monitor...where I work...with a bunch of old men nearby. Glad they didn't see. Jessica would have been inundated with old men.

And I promise I didn't eat your blue and red Mrtl post. For the record, I mainly stick to the purples. Blue and red mixed just don't taste the same. You're trying to get the blogworld to Rice-a-Roni me, aren't you? *Sniff*

 
Blogger eclectic said...

Umm...yeah; about that initial problem I had posting profile pictures? Right. I solemnly promise to never do anything newsworthy, so there'll be no need to worry about publishing it again.

 
Blogger Susie said...

crayonmouth, honey, rice-a-roni is a GOOD thing. Thank you for being proud of me. When JR posted her first (to my knowledge) nekkid pic on her site, I remember commenting to someone that if I ever did that, all you'd see is a pink and white blur, because I'd be laughing so hard. Diff'rent crayon strokes ;)

eclectic, oh my goodness, yes. "Prominent local attorney, seen here from BEHIND is wanted for questioning . . ." Oh, yes, you'd better be good. Although seriously, that was a very beautiful, impressive picture.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Is it wrong to totally laugh at that post? Is it? If it is, oh man... I'm so sorry, Susie...

 
Blogger SierraBella said...

I'm with you Susie, but for non-professional reasons.
Mr. SB at one time requested I send in a photo to one of the more famous nude magazines for their Girl Next Door contest.
I have no problem with nudity, but for goodness sake-
I'm three somebody's Mother, and now one somebody's Grandmother.
Nuff said!
The friend's assless chaps photo on my blog was different! He gave full permission... and he's not me.

 
Anonymous SUB said...

Last time I was at a major event in an infield, I had a huuuggge urge to lift my shirt. I did resist in order to not to make those young 20 somethings from feeling inferior. Mine are real and they're spectacular.

 
Blogger Susie said...

CK, if you don't at least smile, then I didn't write it very well (which is a very real possibility). Even when I was talking to the person who was affected by this, one part of me thought it was funny as hell, and the other part felt horrible for him and all of the other people who were her clients and feeling very much betrayed, bewildered, etc.

sierrabella, I hear ya. Not that I begrudge anyone else their blog-nudiness; indeed, I have found it entertaining in many cases. Just doesn't suit my situation.

SUB, it's so nice of you to think of others like that, and resist such huuuuuge urges.

 
Blogger Susie said...

SierraBella, SUB, anyone who has ever wished they could, but couldn't quite do it, Jessicarabbit is now offering to publish your nekkid pix anonymously on her blog. Well, I never . . .

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Susie, dont be too horrified, I have been thinking about doing this for awhile now. I had even spoke to my Bobblehead boyfriend about it a couple of weeks ago. I get alot of emails from people, and get emailed parts, alot from girls you probably wouldn't expect, people who post here, people the blog world "knows" so I thought, hey why should I get to be the only person who can show off??

Share the love, thats what I am about people, sharing the love.

 
Blogger SRH said...

My wife was a therapist for a few years. She started as a general population therapist and then moved onto being a specifically DV Therapist for 2.5 years. She got out of the therapising business after a client of hers was murdered by her abuser. All that is beside the point, except for the all important "context."

Her having been a therapist leads to me having been in therapy for most of my time being married (not with her, she has "ethical issues" with being "romantically invovled" with a "client" blah blah blah ;)) and for most of the courtship period.

All that being said, I would shudder with un-mitigated revulsion if I found questionable pics of any of the therapists I have been to. All of them are definitely not cosmetically beautiful people. Their sould are beautiful, but beautiful souls and lingere is not always a good mix.

Basically I enjoyed your post.

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Oh and one more comment and then I will stop hogging up your site, of of my old stripper friends, actually one of the most beautiful and succesfull girls I ever knew, went to school and is now a therapist working in a half way house for runaway teenage girls with major problems.

She used to sell videos of herself dancing, pics, all sorts of things, she was on calenders, and no one from her job has ever recognized her. Or said they have.

She is very succesful in her new line of work as well.

 
Anonymous La Pix said...

Susie,
I LOVE THAT EPISODE of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I've seen my therapist forget things and make mistakes, and it's easy to remember that hey, therapists are human too. Don't wanna see their junk, though. Or think they are unwise enough to show off their junk in certain situations.

I've had wild eras and tame eras in my life, looking back. Not that I've ever posted pics of myself, but remembering some of the things I've done - I cringe thinking how I would explain to my nieces why I did them. Or maybe why they shouldn't. On the other hand, maybe they won't be motivated by the things I was, or have the same feelings I had.

All that to say - being a therapist seems like a lot of sobering responsibility. But maybe in a good way.

You can always go to a wild tropical, uninhabited island with your love and run naked on the beach!

 
Blogger Southern Fried Girl said...

Wow, that is something I never even considered. I have been to therapy a couple times here and there and I imagine I would be horrified to find my therapist was nekkid on the net. Good call on your part.

 
Blogger Romani Heart said...

Heh.. no one has to worry about me posting pictures like that on my blog.. I cringe at the sight of myself, no way I'd force that hideousness on my veiwing public!!!! (umm.. think maybe I need a therapist???? lol)

 
Blogger SierraBella said...

I happened to go see Jessica's blog today... well who in their right mind wouldn't?
No thanks for me, ma'am.
If I emailed a photo of my oh-so-lovely knees, my boobs might get in the way!
just kidding!

 
Blogger eclectic said...

Sierrabella, you just cracked me up so much! I like that in a person. C'mon, show us your lovely knees anyway...be a sport!!!

 
Blogger Squirl said...

Susie, I've never had a therapist, though I used to want to be one. But I just can't imagine having him/her show up in the news almost nekkid. Is nekkid a Southern thing? Bucky always says naked is not having any clothes on. Nekkid is naked and up to something.

 
Blogger Keith C. said...

This site is very funny!!!!!!!!

 
Blogger zhoen said...

I am so with you. I cringe everytime a nurse does something stupid, in a porn stereotypical way. For instance the nurse that did the "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire!" show a few years back. When your work, especially as a woman, has an intimate quality, the last thing the profession needs is some dumb chick blurring the lines further. Bad enough that we still have to cope with cartoon nurses, and (ER) TV show Doctor-chasing nurses, but when it happens in real life....
So, nothing personal, but thank you for keeping cheesecake pictures of yourself off the web, I promise to do the same. And I am pro-nudity in general, I just am not pro-nude-nurse, if you catch the difference. There are naked pics of me somewhere out there, from a university art class, I was 26 I did was not then an RN. Not to mention I was wearing a gas mask.

 
Blogger marybishop said...

I will not show my boobs, and if you show yours, I will not look.

I don't know Susie, people who come to my blog aren't showing much of anything...;-)

So where should I go for the good pictures?

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Well, this isn't the discussion I expected when I innocently popped in here today. Oh, my. I think it might be too dirty in here for me.

If you want me, I'll be snappin' nekkid pictures of myself in a public bathroom.

 
Blogger Susie said...

jessicarabbit, honey, I don't think you have ever been accused of not sharing the love ;) I saw that you have posted your first anonnekkid pic; I must admit, I found it most lovely, and tastefully done.

srh, you say a lot here. I am sorry for what your wife went through, I'm sure that was horrible. I guess the next thing I'm drawn to is my hope that while your wife was a therapist, she was ONE therapist that you did find "cosmetically beautiful." And for a different perspective, see JessicaRabbit's comment following yours.

la pix, I do think it carries a lot of responsibility. I can get mushy when I talk about my work, because it is sacred to me. I wouldn't want to do anything in my personal life that would negatively affect clients if word got out. I have found that being a blogging therapist has its own particular challenges. I'm sure some clients have found and will find this blog. I may have to explain something at some point, but basically those who know me at work, in blogworld or in my personal life know me as someone who tries to live according to my faith, and relies heavily upon humor.
That nekkid beach vacation sounds appealing; or I could just go over to JessicaRabbit's place ;)

sfg, I thank you, on behalf of all therapists who keep their clothes on when they're on TV.

romani heart, hmmm, do you need a therapist, or do you just need a little encouragement from JessicaRabbit? ;)

sierrabella, you have your own nudie publication to attend to over there ;)

eclectic, sierrabella is a hoot, and she has lots of rice-a-roni, too.

squirl, it was bizarre. Your sister would know about both naked AND up to something. Nekkid is the official Southern pronunciation.

keith c, welcome! We have our moments! :)

zhoenw, yep, you get it exactly. Made me want to wear a sign, "Most of us wouldn't do that!"

MB, you've got a deal. And if you really want to see, JessicaRabbit's anonynude project is up and running over at her site.

bucky, jess's place is the perfect place for the REAL chaps pix; but it wouldn't really be anonymous, would it? Hmmm...we would all pretend we didn't know who it was. Yea, that's the ticket! I'd say things like, "That is a lovely derriere. It looks like the butt of someone who sings little ditties to animals." YEA! That would totally work!

 
Blogger Torrie said...

It is very kind of you to think of your clients.
However, then we miss out.

 
Blogger kenju said...

I saw that "Curb" episode and I agree that had he been my therapist, I would probably not have gone back either. EEEEWWWWW!

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

See here is the thing, for everyone here who says, oh my body isnt this or that, people, ladies, you are beautiful. Everyone has something about them that is beautiful, sometimes you just dont see it yourself, but its there.

I have dealt with bluntly, thousands of men, and I can tell you what, they all like different things, find different things beautiful. Not all men want us with fake tits and perfect teeny butts that belong on a ten year old.

There ARE men who love small boobs, big hips, curvy butts, stretch marks and lines from having children, toes, the curve of a womans neck, her ears, hair, fingers, the softness of her hands, knees, everything has its place, and for every part of every person there is someone out there who is going to find it beautiful. I know its true, my job taught me that about the world, there is someone for everyone.

I think its kind of sad that so many women dont see the parts of themselves that are beautiful, and THAT is the whole point of my Anon. Posts.

 
Blogger SRH said...

Just for clarification purposes, I am sure that there are quite lovely and attractive therapists out there, I, however, did not see them as a client. My wife is, how shall I say... HAWT but I am too much of a Prudey McPrude from Prudeville to take pics of questionable attire.

What a lively discussion you have here, yet again.

 
Blogger LadyBug said...

Susie, I love this post, but I fear you may incur the wrath of the Google robots, with all your talk of p-sychiatrists in their skivvies.

(Who was it? What show? I can't remember. SOMEONE on some show used to always pronounce it PEE-sychiatrists.)

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

LadyBug - wasn't that Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy?

Susie - sure, that'd work. Everybody pretends they don't know it's my 40-year-old lily-white arse hangin' out the back o' them chaps, as they run, laughing and retching, for the bathroom.
I think I'd have to pick a different body part, frankly. My kneecaps? Irresistable.

 
Blogger Nilbo said...

I'm going to join in on this, at the risk of everybody rolling their eyes and saying "Oh, sure, he's a guy and just wants to see boobs." Which ... hey, I am a guy, and I do love seeing boobs, but JR's effort isn't about that. I don't think it needs to necessarily be pruriently sexual ... simply some part of your body that makes you feel better about yourself.

For example, if the first photo she posted had been cropped just an inch or two higher, it could be safely shown in any magazine (and, to my mind, is good enough that it ought to be).

I have always hated my body - always. Except ... my legs. I guess they reaped the benefit of carting around a fat ass for 30 years - they're well-shaped and muscular and ... well, a part of me that I think is .. OK. If I can figure out how to take a shot of them, then who knows but that I might end up anonymously posting.

We spend a lot of time - all of us - vilifying our bodies, simply for aging and obeying the laws of gravity. I think it might be good for any of us to spend a few moments and celebrate some of the parts that make up what is a beautiful person.

 
Blogger Susie said...

torrie, believe me, you're not missing out. And truly, it's not just because of clients; public nudishness is not something I've ever aspired to. Just not me.

kenju, same here. No therapists in thongs. In public. I don't care what they do at home as long as the photographs don't end up on the news ;)

jessicarabbit, I think what you say is true, and you are a providing an odd, but nice, public service there.

prudey mcprude, I do appreciate your clarification. I must admit, I said to husband, "Is this guy saying that all therapists are unattractive?" But my husband understood you accurately, and said, "No. He's only talking about HIS therapists." So we understand each other now ;)

ladybug, yet another thing for me to fear about this post. I truly did not anticipate the direction(s) this would take. I am a little scared. Oh, I was going to say what Bucky said, it was Ricky R.

bucky, I like to pretend, so I really would love to have the Internet as a Hole in on pretending we don't know it's you. But that's just me.

 
Blogger Susie said...

hi, nilbo, I missed you there. I absolutely agree with you. There are people for whom doing what the lovely lady on Jess's site has done, will benefit greatly from the affirmation that they will get there. I don't know what Jess has said about negative comments, but I'm hoping she'll just delete them, because nobody needs that crap. But most of us need more affirmation, and not all of us are in situations or relationships to get it, or give it to ourselves. I think that photo is lovely, in composition and technique, as well as the model. It set a pretty high standard for Jess's project. I am hopeful that it continues in the same spirit.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

Susie, Sorry I was late for the comments for this one but I am now having visions of Gumby in a Corset/bustier and a thong. I think you should make an effort to take pictures of Gumby in this outfit and submit it to JR's site.

 
Blogger Susie said...

oh, william, you're getting to know me too well. I got so excited by your idea. I'm all, "LG, will Barbie's underwear fit Gumby?!" heeeheeeee

 
Blogger marybishop said...

idb to read comments...great post and comments!

 
Blogger Snickrsnack Katie said...

This post had me laughing hysterically yesterday. Just the thought of some poor schlep -reaming over the fact that his therapist had nudie pictures out there - brought me to tears, I was laughing so hard. I suppose it would be rather traumatic - somewhat like seeing a photo of your mom in 'Hustler'. We tend to put certain people up on pedastals. I went to school to be a teacher, and I think that was the only reason there are not naked pictures of me out there. God knows there were enough drunken nights at frat parties to give me that opportunity. But the thought of a fifth grader coming across my pic on the internet was horrifying. Although I can think of plenty of teachers I had growing up that I would like to see nekky.

 
Blogger August95 said...

I am also late to this one. Funny comments today Susie. I really enjoyed the post. I will also be leaving my clothes on, for now anyways. :)

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Just so everyone knows, Susie is so right, while I am so not about censorship, if someone started slinging mud at the Anon. Photos I would nix those comments right out the door. Anyone who is brave enough to share parts of themselves like that deserves to be treated with respect, and that seems to be what is going on, and I thank you all, on behalf of the Anonymous Photo ladies for being so great.

 
Blogger Greenthumb said...

I loved this post!

 
Blogger Jeffs place said...

Damn and I thought all of you therapists were free spirits. Back in the day I picked up a girl in a bar. I had known her from high school, she was a brain and a beauty. It was now college years. She was a psychology major. I found out on the way home she was hocking her ass to pay her way through school. I declined the gratuity annuity and dropped her off.

 
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

I couldn't agree more. When I went to art school the first week featured a faculty art show so us students could see the work of who was teaching us. One photography teacher had displayed several life size photos of himslef totally nude. Not posed but just standing there holding a ruler. Don't ask me why. I could never take a class with him after. I was too creeped out. If that makes me a prude then I guess I am. But I had no problem drawing nude people in class. The context was just different.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

*raises hand*

Kranki, come let me explain the ruler to you...

 
Blogger SRH said...

Glad the clarification helped. I was a bit worried you did think I did not think therapists could be attractive. The 3 I have seen as a client... just not shiny people.

Some of my wife's co-therapists are attractive people, but oddly enough, I still would not like to see them all sexualized either. But for different reasons... mainly "they are my wife's frineds" reasons.

I actually found this blog by hitting the "next blog" button in Bloggers title bar. I stayed cause it is always fun to hear therapy stories.

 
Blogger little sister said...

Wow, Susie! Hilarious and thought-provoking. I'm so following your advice.

 
Blogger Random and Odd said...

*blink*

I am now grossed out by the thought of my old therapist in her britches.


thanks. like I didn't have bad dreams before I read this post.

;)

 
Blogger Susie said...

TY, MB!

Yes, katiebbaw, it is much like the Hustler mom thing. It's not too late for you, you could visit Jess . . .

august95, are you teasing us? You mean you might change your mind later?...

JR, good for you. I thought so.

greenie, this post loves you, too.

jeff's place, not free; but occasionally a sliding scale is available :0

kranki, indeed, context is everything.

bucky, I wasn't gonna say anything but I wondered about that. Where was that ruler? How did he measure up?

srh, that is interesting. Nothing good has ever come from me hitting "next blog." I have only become frightened and rushed home to check the real estate classified to try to move my blog to a nicer neighborhood. Glad you found me that way, though.

lilsis, you mean we won't see your hiney on the news? You could avoid this lady's troubles if you just don't help anyone escape from prison.

kristine, come on now. Maybe in a granny nightie?

 
Blogger vicki said...

I have never been tempted to post pictures of myself in lingerie. That my patients might see them is the least of my worries...come by way of Hoss. What fun! I'm loving your posts- thanks.

 


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