Go see a shrink
go see the shrink definition | English definition dictionary
vb , shrinks, shrinking, shrank, shrunk, shrunk, shrunken
1 to contract or cause to contract as from wetness, heat, cold, etc.
2 to become or cause to become smaller in size
3 intr; often foll by: from
a to recoil or withdraw
to shrink from the sight of blood
b to feel great reluctance (at)
to shrink from killing an animal
4 the act or an instance of shrinking
5 a slang word for →
(Old English scrincan; related to Old Norse skrokkr torso, Old Swedish skrunkin wrinkled, Old Norse hrukka a crease, Icelandic skrukka wrinkled woman)
♦ shrinkable adj
♦ shrinker n
♦ shrinking adj
♦ shrinkingly adv
n (Engineering) a tight fit of a collar or wheel boss on a shaft obtained by expanding the collar or boss by heating to enable it to be threaded onto the shaft and then allowing it to cool, or by freezing the shaft to reduce its diameter to enable it to be threaded into the collar or boss and then allowing the shaft temperature to rise
vb , -wraps, -wrapping, -wrapped tr to package (a product) in a flexible plastic wrapping designed to shrink about its contours to protect and seal it
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
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Why are Therapists Called Shrinks?
- Mental Health
- NYC Therapy
Looking for a therapist?
Therapy Group of NYC offers therapy designed for you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to manage your mental health, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the United States experiences a diagnosable mental health condition each year, with depression and anxiety disorders among the most common types of mental illness.
Within the last year, adults throughout the United States reported a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms due to job loss, isolation, and stress surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, according to a KFF Health Tracking Poll from July 2020, many adults reported difficulty sleeping, increased challenges with substance use, and worsening chronic conditions within the last week. Respondents attributed this to stress over the coronavirus and issues surrounding the White House and former President Trump.
Whether you’re experiencing mild stress, relationship problems, or think you might have a diagnosable mental health condition, therapy can help you navigate your mental health and start feeling better. Therapists don’t just treat mental illnesses—they also provide mental health diagnoses and seek to prevent mental health issues.
Why are mental health professionals called shrinks?
“Shrink” is another term used to refer to mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The word “shrink” comes from “head shrinkage,” which refers to the ancient practice of shrinking the head of a conquered enemy. Thus, “shrink” originated as a slang term that people used to refer to mental health professionals. The term is largely outdated and belongs to an era in which mental health treatment was a source of shame. While there remains a stigma surrounding mental health today, getting treatment is far more widely accepted than it was when this term was more commonly used.
Different Types of Mental Health Professionals
Although the term “shrink” may be used to describe several types of mental health professionals, there are different types of providers trained in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating mental health problems. During your search for a therapist, you might encounter some of the following titles:
- Psychologist: Psychologists earn a doctoral degree in psychology. Counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists are trained to make mental health diagnoses and provide psychotherapy services.
- Psychiatrist: Psychiatrists are medical doctors with special training in brain structure and the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Psychiatrists typically prescribe medication and much less often counsel clients. Some psychiatrists receive additional training in a specialty field, such as children’s behavior.
- Social worker: Social workers earn a master’s degree in social work. They are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses. Some social workers also provide case management and advocacy services.
- Counselor: Mental health counselors and licensed professional counselors earn a master’s degree in psychology or a related field and undergo several years of clinical experience. Counselors are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions.
Common Types of Mental Health Conditions
Several different conditions are recognized as mental illnesses, each with its own unique diagnostic criteria under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Some common mental health conditions include:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance use disorders
It’s essential to keep in mind that not all brain diseases are considered mental illnesses. Disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy affect the brain structure and neurons, but they are deemed neurological diseases rather than mental illnesses. As scientists continue to research mental illnesses with new methodologies, they learn that mental illness is associated with changes in brain structure, chemistry, and function.
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Although many adults in the United States experience mental health symptoms, many face barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Socioeconomic status, stigmatized beliefs surrounding mental health in different ethnic groups, and a lack of knowledge about mental health care make it difficult for people to access the mental health care they need. Additionally, while clients in major cities like Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and New York might have an easier time finding a provider, many clients in rural areas have a hard time finding a psychotherapist nearby.
Fortunately, within the last year, more and more therapists have started offering online therapy services, providing a convenient, discreet, and affordable alternative to traditional in-person therapy sessions. With online therapy, it’s possible to access mental health care from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a reliable Internet connection.
While online therapy isn’t for everyone, research shows that it’s effective as in-person therapy in treating a wide variety of conditions. Here are signs you could benefit from online therapy.
- You want to improve your relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues.
- You’re feeling frustrated, confused, or overwhelmed.
- You’re having a hard time moving on or feel stuck at a crossroads.
- You’re navigating a challenging situation or stage of life.
- You’re overreacting to situations that feel “small” or have trouble regulating your emotions.
Finding the Right Therapist
At the Therapy Group of NYC, we know that finding the right mental health provider can feel intimidating—that’s why we provide personalized guidance every step of the way with access to confidential online therapy and compassionate therapists.
Whether you’re starting therapy for the first time or transitioning to online therapy, one of our experienced mental health professionals will help you navigate your mental health and find the emotional support you need to live a more fulfilling life.
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I want to go to a psychologist, but I can't decide. What to do?
Author: Valeria Lazarenko
So, you realized that you need to see a psychologist. But choosing a specialist and signing up for the first session can be difficult: there are so many details, methods and nuances! How to finally decide on this important change in your life - explains 34home editor and PhD in psychology Valeria Lazarenko.
Is my problem really that important? What if the psychologist looks at me accusingly? What if they try to force me to change my whole life, put me on consultations and pull money? Will they start digging into the past and worsen relations with loved ones?
We have many fears about visiting a psychologist. But a good hundred years of the development of psychotherapy shows that in most cases, working with a psychologist is good. It helps you solve problems that have been nagging for a long time - for example, overcome self-doubt, fear of new circumstances and anxiety. And also - to accept yourself and the people around you as they are, without trying to change them.
Here are a couple of tips that I hope will help you finally decide to go to a psychologist - if only to try what it's like.
1 / Make a request
The first thing the psychologist will ask you (even at the stage of the appointment agreement) is what you come to the consultation with (in professional language - your request). And not because the psychologist is harmful - but because it will be easier for him (her) to prepare for your visit.
There are no stupid, inappropriate or unimportant requests - after all, this is what worries you. Self-doubt, causeless (seemingly) longing, the feeling that you are not in your place in life, doubts about the correctness of the choice made - these are just as important requests as, for example, problems in your personal life and difficult relationships with parents.
Decide on a request and half the job will be done. Spoiler: The request often changes during work, because the real problem can only surface after a few sessions.
2 / Decide on a method
Not all psychologists are the same: specialists work with different approaches, and each of them has its own characteristics. But one of these methods will definitely be suitable for you.
Many psychologists blog and explain the features of their methods - such reading will also be useful before signing up for a session. There are a lot of certified methods in Ukraine, here are some of the most popular:
· Gestalt is about working with emotions, being in the moment, experiencing your own feelings, self-esteem and dealing with trauma.
· Psychoanalysis , which is actually already far removed from Freud's grandfather, but is still about childhood traumas, energies and journeys into the unconscious.
· Client-Centered Therapy - about personal feelings, goals, motivations and self-discovery. One of its variants is narrative therapy, that is, retelling one's own stories. With the right work of a psychologist, this is one of the most light and “sparing” methods;
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a complicated name for a method that helps you change your attitude and behavior in difficult situations in a fairly short time (for example, get rid of obsessive fears or deeply internalized beliefs that prevent you from living your life).
· Systemic Family Therapy - a method that will find what exactly fails (in a broad sense) in a particular family: for example, it will explain why in a certain family all women get divorced, and men become drunken alcoholics. This method will just help you work out resentment from childhood, accept and forgive loved ones.
The main thing to remember is that the method is not as important as your willingness to work and "connect" with the therapist. After all, the problems and requests are individual for everyone - as are the methods of work of each individual psychologist. But you can always find a cheat sheet on the difference between psychotherapy methods here.
3 / Try individual and group therapy
These two approaches to therapy do not at all contradict each other: for example, the same group psychoanalysis quite coexists with the individual. But each has its own characteristics, therefore, in order to determine what is right for you, we advise you to still try both ways of working with problems.
It often happens that group therapy helps to relax and finally start talking - especially if you feel squeezed in individual consultations. Then the opportunity to see similar problems in other people will help you overcome fear and discover new traits in yourself.
But there are also pitfalls: it is also possible that during group work your problems will seem to you "unimportant" and "insignificant" in comparison with the dramas of other participants. In this case, the group leader will advise you to go to individual counseling - and work through your devaluation of your own experience and the "impostor syndrome".
4 / Do not read psychological literature on your own
As my teacher used to say, if you start reading a manual on psychodiagnostics, you will inevitably find symptoms of each of the disorders. Alas, in the "popular" books on psychology there are too many simplifications, generalizations, unfounded conclusions and everything that will either convince you that psychology is a complete charlatanism, or drag you into the abyss of self-diagnosis and self-treatment. In scientific books, there are too many complexities and bird language. And it may also seem to you that psychologists do nothing but experiment on their clients (in fact, this is not at all the case, and there are huge ethical requirements for psychological research).
Most likely, your psychologist will recommend books that will help you understand exactly his (her) method, and will respond to you rather than harm you.
5 / Remember that "whack" will not happen
Oddly enough, the psychologist will not give you advice and will not answer the question in an hour what you should do to make life better and more pleasant. After all, the purpose of psychotherapy is for you to come to the idea of the changes that you need at the moment. And it is this journey into oneself that is the most interesting thing in psychotherapy.
Of course, an experienced psychologist can understand at the very first session that all you need is, for example, to forgive your mother for coldness and resentment, and finally stop devaluing yourself at work. But what will be the point in this?
6 / Don't be scared if you are told that you need to work on the problem regularly
Psychoanalysts joke that they pass on their clients by inheritance. But don't take it seriously: in fact, psychotherapy as a process rarely lasts more than a few months. Further - only periodic meetings and support in a convenient format.
But in any case, psychotherapy is not a quick story. And it's great! Usually, two of its formats are distinguished: counseling and psychotherapy itself.
Psychological counseling - light version. Usually these are 3-5 consultations that help to solve a specific request (for example, get support in a difficult situation or decide on a further direction).
Psychotherapy – long history, from 10 consultations. Because the subtle moments of mental organization are not resolved quickly: after all, a psychologist is only a guide who will tell you where to go. But he will not provide ready-made solutions, no matter how you beg.
7 / Remember that psychologists are people too
There is no perfect therapist, but trust me, your psychologist will sincerely try to help you. And if he realizes that for a number of reasons he cannot do this, he will tell you who to contact.
In profile descriptions, many psychologists pay special attention to discipline and time management. For example, if you are booked from 5 to 6 pm, but come at 5.30, the session will only last until 6. The duration of the consultation is also regulated: for someone - 45 minutes, for someone - an hour and no more. But this is not at all because psychologists are completely "crackers", but because the therapist's tool is himself, and it is also important for him to unload, relax and keep himself in a resourceful state. And, for example, allow yourself breaks between appointments - after all, a tired therapist is unlikely to benefit anyone.
And remember that any psychologist was once in your place - after all, we all went through many hours of our own therapy before being certified. And we also constantly go through supervision - we tell a more experienced colleague about the experience of working with all clients (naturally, keeping the names and events confidential), we get advice and choose the best options for how to help you.
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Photo: Pexels (Louis, lalesh aldarwish )
Author: Valeria Lazarenko
Can I go to a psychologist without my parents' permission?
It is difficult to talk to parents or teachers about what worries you - they may not understand or be embarrassed. Sharing experiences with peers is all the more scary - what if they laugh or tell everyone. A psychologist could help - but where to look for him and what should he be like? Where is the guarantee that he will not leak to his parents everything that was at the consultation? We answer 10 questions teenagers ask about therapy.
If you're thinking about going into psychotherapy but don't understand how it works, check out this free onboarding course. And show it to your parents!
1. How old do I have to be to see a psychologist without asking my parents for permission?
In Russia, there is no official document that says at what age you can go to a psychologist. But there is the Law "On psychiatric care and guarantees of the rights of citizens in its provision." It says that a teenager can turn to a specialist without parental permission after he turns 15 years old.
If you are under 15 and don't want to ask your mother for permission, you can use helplines or psychological support chats. It's anonymous and free.
2. I'm 14 and my parents don't believe in psychology. Can another adult give me permission to consult?
You can go to a psychologist before the age of 15 only with the permission of your parents or guardians. Good friends and grandparents will not be able to help. If it so happens that mom or dad does not give consent to a psychologist, you will have to wait until you turn 15.
3. Will the psychologist reveal my secrets to other people?
In Russia, parents have the right to know what doctors are doing with their minor children. The nuance is that some psychologists have a medical education, and some do not. A clinical psychologist, a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist can tell your parents what you talked about at the appointment.
It is also important whether the psychologist works in a medical institution. If you are under 18 and you have contacted a psychotherapist at the clinic, then your parents will be able to find out, upon written request, what you discussed with the specialist. And if you have chosen a private psychologist without medical education, then he is not obliged to tell his parents anything.
A psychologist has no right to reveal your secrets to anyone. Even other professionals. Even members of your family. Even if he doesn’t say your name when he wants to share with someone: “Recently, a boy came to me with such an interesting problem.” There are only two exceptions when a non-physician psychologist can tell parents or emergency services what you told at the reception:
- You are about to do something that threatens the life and health of others.
- You want to harm yourself or are about to commit suicide.
In these cases, the psychologist can call the parents, the police or an ambulance. The therapist will not tell anything about you to everyone else.
4. I decided to talk to my parents about the need for a psychologist. What can I say to make them agree?
Parents may take this news personally and begin to blame themselves. They are also afraid that you will complain about them to a stranger, and this is unpleasant for parents. You can hear from them: “What, you can’t talk to us? Are we to blame? Will you talk about us there?" Therefore, it is important to convey to mom and dad that it's not about them. And even if in them, then you need to say about it gently, without pretensions.
When you talk to your parents, don't blame them. Talk only about yourself and your feelings, "I-statements" will help you with this.
These statements can be added: “I can't manage on my own. I feel like I need help." There is nothing to be ashamed of in such words: everyone needs support.
5. If I have nightmares or I am nervous about the exam, is this a reason to visit a psychologist?
There are no such experiences and feelings with which one cannot come to a psychologist. Even if you "just" have bad dreams. Perhaps there is something more behind these nightmares: for example, the fear of failing exams and not meeting the expectations of parents.
You get upset that everyone in the class has iPhones, and you are the only one with a regular smartphone. You worry that you don’t know how to joke funny or that your peers laugh at your last name. You suffer because you fell deeply in love and don't know how to tell your loved one about it. You feel good and just want to talk to a specialist. Anything can be discussed with a psychologist.
Everything that has become a problem for you is important. Otherwise it wouldn't be a problem.
6. How to find an ethical and competent psychologist?
Look on the Internet to see if a psychologist works with teenagers - this way you will select a person who understands what people of your age are facing. Read the publications of the psychologist in social networks. After that, you will understand whether you want to trust him: whether you like his thoughts, whether his words resonate with you.
Be sure to look at the information about education, it must be higher: completed bachelor's degree, master's degree or additional professional. No two-week courses and personal growth trainings will make a person a real specialist.
7. I heard that the main thing in working with a psychologist is trust. How much should I trust a psychologist to make it easier for me?
Trust as much as you can. Frankness cannot be forced out of oneself. Also, trust is something that two people create, not one. There are principles in the work of a psychologist that help the client open up and not worry about their safety. Whether you are an adult or a child, these rules apply to all types of therapy:
- Respect and impartiality - the psychologist understands that you are equal with him. He will not laugh at your problems and will not condemn your views.
- Confidentiality - a psychologist should not tell anyone about you without your consent.
- Client self-determination - you can choose whether you want to work with this psychologist or not. The specialist has no right to interfere with you if you want to leave.
8. What can and cannot a psychologist do in a session?
The psychologist should not criticize you. A real expert won't say, "Why the hell are you wasting my time? Go home. Come back when there's real trouble."
The specialist may not violate your personal boundaries, such as touching or hugging you, unless you have given your consent. For each bodily contact, the psychologist must ask permission, and you have the right to refuse: "No, I don't want to be hugged."
The therapist cannot give advice or tell you what to do - he can only share his opinion.
Sometimes a psychologist behaves competently, but you still don't like him. For example, it seems that the specialist is not interested in your problems. It is difficult to understand whether this is true or it seemed to you. In this case, talk to a psychologist directly about what is bothering you.
Explain how the specialist makes you feel. For example: “It seems to me that you are not interested in my life. You constantly look down and show no emotion. It hurts me, I'm angry."
Together with the psychologist, you will decide how to proceed: say goodbye or try to deal with the problem. There is nothing wrong with changing therapists: you have the right to look for someone you can trust.
9. I have no money and I really need help. How can I find a free psychologist?
Here are organizations that help with mental health and do not charge for it:
- Polyclinic - they will give you a referral to the state psychological assistance service.
- Psychoneurological dispensary in the community - go there if you are haunted by suicidal thoughts or it seems that you have depression.
- School - if there is a school psychologist.
- Anonymous helplines for children and teenagers.
- Psychological support chats for teenagers in social networks.
10. If I go to a psychologist, will it automatically mean that I am sick?