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Archive for the ‘About This Site’ Category

The paperback version of my first book – Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy
is now available on Amazon.com.

The terrific new cover is by Christine Sullivan, of cstudiodesign.  I hope you’ll take a look.

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The new book is available as an ebook or paperback via Amazon Way Worse Than Being a Dentist: The Lawyer’s Quest for Meaning and BN.com and as an ebook in the Apple ibookstore.

Sorry for the wait.

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I was kidding around with some of the guys at my gym, tossing around the question – would you fight Mike Tyson for $3 million?

One of them joked – I think he heard this on Howard Stern – that he’d fellate Mike Tyson for $3 million. He could spend the first $1 million on mouthwash and retire on the rest.

Then another guy spoke up, a sometime professional heavyweight boxer. (I’m not making this up, he really has boxed, for big money, not too long ago – and has plans to do so again.)

“It’s not worth it. Mike would destroy you. There would be no retirement.”

He went on to explain what he meant. He knew from experience – this guy had been in the ring. You’d have more than bruises – you’d have concussions, brain injuries, damaged bones and joints. You’d never be the same – and it wouldn’t be worth it. You’re better off not having $3 million but appreciating the finer things, like being able to walk and talk and think.

I saw his point.

Biglaw is also not worth it, even for big money. That’s because it, too, destroys you – just like Iron Mike.

A lawyer client, a fifth year at a big firm on the West Coast, mused to me the other day – “This job wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t end up crying alone in my office so much.”

“You mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t suck?”

“Yeah,” she said. “That’s pretty much it. Imagine doing this for ordinary money. No one would consider doing this for ordinary money.”

No one would consider fighting Mike Tyson for ordinary money, either. And it’s not worth it for $3 million. Big law isn’t even worth it for $160k a year.

Don’t believe it? Allow me to elaborate.

The process begins with sleep deprivation – plain, simple sleep deprivation. Not sleeping. Staying up all night and facing sarcasm if you plan to take the following day off.

One of my clients brought a pillow into work, so she could put her face down on her desk and sleep for an hour at a time. Her officemate saw her, and told her what a good idea it was. Then she brought in a pillow, too. Only at a law firm.

You might not think sleep deprivation is a big deal. Hell, you’re a machine. You don’t need sleep. All-nighters? No sweat.

Sleep deprivation is like binge drinking. There’s a machismo around staying up all night, night after night – like doing ten shots of tequila. You’re tough. Not a problem.

Later, as you puke your guts out and pray for sweet release, you realize you were being an idiot.

Read a few scientific studies on sleep deprivation and you will understand it fries your brain and leaves you an emotional wreck. You can’t think straight, your immune system crashes, you fall apart. As one of my senior associate clients put it, “I thought I was unflappable when I got here. I’m flapped.”

Naturally, if you aren’t sleeping, you’re also not having a life. So relationships dissolve, friendships fade, your pet starts living with your parents. And you start thinking about boinking that guy from the anti-trust group, even if he isn’t much to look at.

Okay. So why is there sleep deprivation at big law firms?

(more…)

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 240,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 10 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 126 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 520 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 60mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 15th with 11 views. The most popular post that day was I suck at law.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were abovethelaw.com, Google Reader, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, and abajournal.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the people’s therapist, people’s therapist, the peoples therapist, peoples therapist, and the people’s therapist blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

I suck at law December 2010
40 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Fighting back from a bad review February 2010
32 comments

3

Maybe you’re not cut out for this place April 2010
35 comments

4

Extremely Versatile Crockery November 2010
45 comments

5

When the emptiness swallows you whole February 2010
28 comments

…and while I’m crowing about the year’s achievements, please take a look at my new book!

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You can order it on Amazon.  It’s also available on bn.com.

Drop by my office and I’ll sell you one in person, signed and personalized.

You can even purchase it as an ebook for the Kindle or the Nook or iPad .

Thank you, everyone, for your support of this project.

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The People’s Therapist now has fans.  Literally.

I’ve created a “fan page” on Facebook.

To become a “fan” please go to my Facebook “fan page” and click “become a fan.”

Voila!

You will subsequently become eligible for all the rights and privileges that befit a loyal fan of The People’s Therapist.

Mostly, that means I can send you updates about the site and perhaps the publication of a book or an event I’ll be featured in – that sort of thing.

It will also make me feel good.

Thanks.

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This blog responds to two BAD things and one GOOD thing about psychotherapy.

First, the BAD things.

It’s expensive:  I slide my rate down to whatever you tell me you can afford.  And I mean it.  (If you don’t believe me, it’s on my website:  www.aquietroom.com.)   I’ve seen people for $200 per hour and I’ve seen people for $1 per hour, because that’s what they each could honestly afford.  They all get the same therapy.  But I can only see so many people at once, even with the groups.  This blog addresses that problem.  Here’s a space where I can share the ideas of psychotherapy with everyone.  Until I can get a book in print (which might be soon), this is what I’ve got – a public space, free to all comers, to spread the ideas I believe in – and to try to help.

It’s pretentious:  I keep a Sigmund Freud bobble-head doll in my office to remind me of two things – that Freud was a genius – and I shouldn’t take myself (or Freud) too seriously.  The ideas that change lives make you say “ah-ha!” and see something differently. Freud concocted some crazy notions (remember “penis envy”?) and some brilliant ones (the unconscious.)  The “Ah-ha” ones stuck around.  If you’re not getting an “ah-ha” from this blog, let me know.  As my old therapist, Lena Furgeri, used to say – “STAY ON MY ASS!”  Feedback is welcome.  I’m the People’s Therapist.  You’re the People.

And the GOOD THING:

Psychotherapy changes lives:  Louis Ormont, one of the inventors of group therapy, told me his dream was to make psychotherapy available for everyone – to put it in schools and all over the globe.  He started therapy groups in high schools in New York City.  “Imagine,” he said, “if children took an hour a week for emotional education, to learn to put their thoughts and feelings into words.  It could change the world!”

I agree with Lou.  There are a lot of ah-ha ideas here.  I want to get them out to you – and hear your thoughts.

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