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One word psychoanalytical profile test.
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(+3, -1)
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Take that annoying thing kids do, asking a question then saying "Why?" to every answer and use it as a quick and easy patient profile tool that's effective and very easy to remember.

Dr: "What brings you here today?"

Patient: "Having some issues."

Dr: "Why?"

"Because I can't smoke a cigar without thinking it's symbolic of a penis."


"Because I read a book on Sigmund Freud."


"Because I was deeply depressed about my addiction to cigars."


"You know you're really starting to piss me off by just saying WHY over and over again."

(Jots down, "Impatient and hostile, gonna make some money off of this one.") "Why?"

"Because it's just stupid and time wasting! I can do this myself."

Dr: "Exactly. In fact (hands him a notebook and pen) I want you to continue this questioning. Give me 20 "Whys" and their answers and we'll go over them together."

Patient: "Oh, I get it, this will give a view into my personality, phobias and reactions to various stress situations!"

Dr: (looking up from his phone after checking sports scores) "Hu? Oh right. Sure, whatever. Take your time."

doctorremulac3, Nov 09 2020

Twa Corbies http://www.rampants...blsongs_corbies.htm
[pertinax, Nov 10 2020]

Wikipedia: Five whys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_whys
[jutta, Nov 11 2020]

Ask Mitsuku https://www.pandorabots.com/mitsuku/
Mitsuku can answer any question [xenzag, Nov 13 2020]


       <Graham Chapman>   


       </Graham Chapman>
8th of 7, Nov 09 2020

       //Asking "why" is common in some kinds of psychotherapy but it's sometimes counterproductive. If asking "why" constantly was a valid therapy method, any four year old could get a degree and open their own practice.//   

       Ah, so this wouldn't work as a serious suggestion for a new method of psychotherapy? Do go on.
doctorremulac3, Nov 09 2020

       'Asking "Why psychotherapy ?"' may give you a better overview of anything [kdf] could post here ...
8th of 7, Nov 09 2020

       Hmm, that’s very interesting kdf, I feel like I could probably learn a lot from you. On a different subject, I was just wondering, if Russia attacked Turkey from the rear, do you think Grease would help?
doctorremulac3, Nov 09 2020

       But seriously, although I was largely kidding about this idea, come to think of it, maybe just giving the patient a sheet of 20 or so "Why?"s, starting with "What's on your mind" and letting them fill it out might lead to some interesting insights. Respectfully tell them it's an exercise, that sometimes it can help the person see into what's going on, like a diagnostic tool.   

       And I don't care about protocol, this is about new ideas, not what the eggheads are saying. I also noticed that there's a lot of people on both sides of the "why?" tool but nobody suggesting just giving the person a string of them and just letting them go nuts. Figuratively speaking.   

       And if the rules say don't do that, you know what I'm going to say.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       hmmm, 'why?' is all I've known. It works and might be the only thing which kept my subconscious mind from overwhelming my conscious mind. Seeing madness happen to others made me focus on the 'why' rather than the 'what' when I began going through ocd and tourettes like tics in my teens.   

       Why my mind was doing these things was far more important what was occurring.   

       Once I'd nailed that down, (even if I am wrong, doesn't matter it worked), the tics fell away like the chains they were.
All but one. I relinquished control of that one thing and let 'it' keep it as its own.

       Me and 'it' are buds now.   

       'It' saves my life over and over again and 'I' acknowledge its existence while trying to learn its language.
Not easy I tells ya.
Hold on a sec...

       "NURSE! My meds were due at 4:20 and it's now 4:44!"   

       Sorry about that, you modern people don't have any decent apothecaries nowadays.
You should work on that.

       Giving somebody a sheet that says “how are you feeling” followed by 20 “Why?”s has been done before where? Put up the links, name the titles of the studies of this therapy. Who are the doctors involved in this exact procedure? If that’s been done before, and you submit proof, I will say the following: “Kdf was right.” If you can’t find anything that attests to this having been done before, you will say “doctorremulac3 was right.”   

       That’s the bet. Will you take it? Yes or no.   

       *extends hand offering to shake on it*   

       And before you turn down this exciting challenge consider this: I’ve done zero research, don’t care, and therefore will continue to do zero research so you’ve got all the odds going for you here. But will you win or lose? Gotta play to find out.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       Isn't this one of the methods* used by Scientology to get 'Clear'?   

Sgt Teacup, Nov 10 2020

       If so, Sgt Teacup wins the bet and the game is over. He’ll win the coveted “Sgt Teacup was right” award. You gonna let that happen kdf? Tick tock kdf, tick tock.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       I’ll add to the prize. I’ll say “kdf was right and I, doctorremulac3 was wrong.”   

       Think of it. Pure victory. Uncontested, glorious victory.   

       And I vow, if I’m wrong, (and keep in mind, I may well be because I refuse to waste my time on a web search for such a silly subject) I will honor my part of the bet.   

       Let us meet as two gladiators, fighting for the honor, the glory of being able to say “I was right, and the other guy was wrong.” (And the crowd yells in unison) For those about to suffer very mild embarrassment! We salute you!
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       Then I will hoist the glorious banner of victory.   

       I was right, kdf was wrong.   

       But somehow the victory felt hollow. So much suffering, so much pain, was it worth it? Is war and conflict ever worth it? With that the gladiator left the field of battle, but before he left, he nodded at his former enemy. A subtle salute? Perhaps. An acknowledgement of the humanity of his fallen opponent and former foe? Maybe. We may never know. And the sun set on the field of battle, as it had countless times before. As the warrior walked away, silhouetted birds in the trees along his path serenaded the nightfall, and the arrival of the peaceful Moon.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       Did he rob his former enemy's corpse ? Wristwatch, cash, rings, small portable items of value, and an ear* as a souvenir and a trophy.   

       *Carry a box or tin of salt to keep them in.
8th of 7, Nov 10 2020

       //the birds in the trees serenaded the nightfall//   

       See link.
pertinax, Nov 10 2020

       Dang, turned into poetry hour here.   

       Well, cool. My dad used to read me poetry when I was a kid and I never got it. Maybe I’ll start reading some on my own. I hear reading can be good for you, maybe I’ll try it.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       I used to know someone who did this when I was at school.
nineteenthly, Nov 10 2020

       Whoa, this has been done as a method for troubleshooting cars by Toyota! (see Jutta's link)   

       This was kind of a joke at first, but I'm thinking that if you administer this properly, that is, respectfully tell the patient to fill this out on their own, basically loose the annoying aspect of ASKING somebody "why?" over an over, explain that it's a new diagnostic tool, describe the process then ASK if they'd like to give it a shot, this may shed some light on issues the patient is having without any prompting from the doctor that might skew the results. For instance if the patient writes run on sentences when they get excited, this could be a valuable diagnostic tool, or at least keep them busy while you check sports scores.   

       This started as a joke but now I'm going to use this as my thesis for a doctorate in psycholiocycologicology.
doctorremulac3, Nov 11 2020

       So, how does this post make you feel ?
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2020

       Mostly with my hands.

       //So, how does this post make you feel ?//   

       Like a super genius, like Freud and Einstein combined only better looking and I’m taller.   


       Well, because my dad was pretty tall.   


       His dad is was tall too.   


       His dad was also tall.
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2020

       Root cause analysis has been applied to psychology many times. This is not a new idea.
Voice, Nov 12 2020

       We’ve been over this, you’ll have to supply a link showing that somebody has proposed giving tha patient a sheet of “Why?”s. It has been done to analyze problems with cars but if it’s been done with people there’ll be documentation. Vague allusions to asking a sequence of general questions won’t do.   

       If it's out there, it’ll have lots of references to it like with the Toyota car analysis thing, so provide the link and we’ll all know it’s been done.   

       This is very specific. The direction of the questioning comes entirely from the patient, that’s the point. How they react to the blank slate of a series of repetitive one word questions could reveal aspects of that person’s psychological makeup. It's also a bit stressful, try it. Seeing how a person reacts to this self imposed stress might be telling. Do they explore a world where they're asking themselves what happened before the big bang or are they ranting about how dad left to get a pack of cigarettes and never came home?   

       This was a joke, but I think it actually might be something, so I'll put it this way, please show me it's been done so I can put this behind me. I don't want to have to write a paper on this but if it's really never been tried I feel like it should be explored.   

       I don't want to write a paper on this, so help me out. A simple link will put this all to rest. I'm secretly hoping it has been done at this point.
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2020

       //you’ll have to supply a link showing that somebody has proposed giving tha patient a sheet//   

pocmloc, Nov 12 2020

       Why why?   

       (your turn)
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2020

       What ?
FlyingToaster, Nov 12 2020

       Drat! I didn't see that coming!
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2020

spidermother, Nov 12 2020

       I mean, the obvious response is "Why not?"
tatterdemalion, Nov 12 2020

       Why not why?
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2020

       There is no end to the 'why' game once you start it by the way.
I forgot to mention that earlier. You just come to grips with the fact that you are never going to have all of your questions answered...

       ...and then wonder why?   

       When it comes to Things That Matter, I tend to go with how I feel. If I feel antsy and anxious when I ponder a topic, I probably need to keep asking Why? If I feel calm, I accept that I've gotten to the bottom of things.   

       I had a conversation today where I tried to explain why I'm hopeful. My interlocutor said "I suppose you're right ..." clearly not QUITE buying it. I explained that to me, it's not even about right or wrong. I can't possibly make an argument for why I shouldn't just top myself. But I also can't possibly make an argument for why I shouldn't be cheery and optimistic and make the best of things. Someone (Jung?) said that the only question that matters is: should I kill myself? Hamlet made a similar point. Having answered "No.", it immediately becomes "Hell no! Whatever this bizarre thing is called life, it's way too interesting to check out prematurely."   

       So ... sometimes the "Why?" questions do indeed bottom out at "Why not?"
spidermother, Nov 13 2020

       The loop seems to have three possible exit conditions, namely, exasperation, creeping existential horror and stepping out for a nice breath of fresh air.   

       Of course, if you use real recursion, you can blow the stack before any of these kicks in.
pertinax, Nov 13 2020

       //real recursion// Are there other kinds?
pocmloc, Nov 13 2020

       In many (all?) cases, you can reimplement recursion using plain old iteration. For example, I once had to redo quicksort that way, so as not to blow the stack in a vbscript.
pertinax, Nov 13 2020

       Of course it's hard not to blow a stack when using vbscript, because it's hard to get a breath of fresh air, because you can't open the Windows, even a little bit.   

       By //real recursion// do you mean mental processes that are in fact recursive (and therefore stack-blowing) but which are not consciously percieved as recursive (and therefore can't be exited from and resolved)?
spidermother, Nov 13 2020

       No, I'm starting from the premise that we might want to speed up this whole process by doing it in software, but, at the same time, nodding to the fact that humans do have limited "stack capacity" when trying to remember where they are in a conversation in which validation relationships (including, of course, meta-validation relationships) between different propositions can multiply out of control.
pertinax, Nov 13 2020

       Oh, cool.   

       Check out "The mirror". It's a software project (in development) by Larken Rose that does something like this*. It's intended to help people to find and resolve contradictions among their own thoughts and values.   

       *Only in the sense that it uses software to ask a series of questions, with the aim of making the process of slowly and painfully working out the surprisingly obvious less painful and less slow. It asks closed, either-or questions, not open-ended ones such as "why?"
spidermother, Nov 13 2020

       Ask Mitsuku - link
xenzag, Nov 13 2020

       When I was young, if I ever asked "why", I would be told, "because".
pocmloc, Nov 13 2020

       Well, that IS the answer to all questions I guess.   

       I'm guessing "because" is some sort of oldyspeak for "due to the cause", "becoming from that which is the causation".   

       But I'd have to do a Google search and that's not gonna happen.
doctorremulac3, Nov 13 2020

       If "why?" has become conditioned, to be a defense mechanism, it's ill advised to confront it.   

       Now, it's more tricky to get to a redirection that hasn't been conditioned. Meds or a highball can help mitigate the stress of a confrontation in an unconditioned person, or offering those can strike directly at the problems of a seasoned addict.
reensure, Nov 14 2020

       Other useful answers dredged up from my youth include "why not?", "no reason", and "that's for me to know and you to find out". And also the perennial favourite, "dunno".
pocmloc, Nov 14 2020

       There's a fun loop.   

       "Why not?"   

       "No reason."   

       "Why not?"   

       "No reason."   

       "Why not?"   

       "Excuse me, what was the last question?"   

       "Why not?"   

       "Oh. No reason."
doctorremulac3, Nov 14 2020

       And another useful answer: "Zed".
pocmloc, Nov 14 2020


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