Thursday, July 13, 2006

Put Down the Duckie: A Psychotherapeutic Study


[posted by dinah, not clinkshrink]

Oh, I do so wish I could play the video on the blog....this loses so much.

Put Down The Duckie

Case Presentation, please see lyrics below.

Ernie is a 37 year old single male (?) muppet with borderline intellectual functioning (vs. ADD?) who presents with a chief complaint of a "silly squeek" when he plays the saxophone.

The patient is self-referred to Mr. Hoots, a wise psychotherapist & jazz musician, with a full practice (a "busy bird") who is experienced in a number of psychotherapeutic modalities.

After a brief period of observation, Mr. Hoots identifies the source of the squeek: Ernie is holding his support rubber duck while trying to play the saxophone. Mr. Hoots points out this maladaptive behavior pattern to Ernie and identifies corrective measure for him ("put down the duckie"). Despite repeated behavioral directives, Ernie is not able to follow through with Mr. Hoots' treatment recommendations and the issue of compliance is raised. Frustrated, Mr. Hoots uses self-disclosure as a psychotherapeutic maneuver, telling Ernie, "I've learned a thing or two, through years of playing in a band, it's hard to play a saxophone with something in your hand!"

Ernie remains resistant to Mr. Hoots' interventions. In the video rendition of the psychotherapy, during the Put Down The Duckie refrains, Ernie is shown to be participating in group psychotherapy with a number of celebrities (Madeline Kahn, Danny DeVito, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, & Jeremy Irons) who all instruct and encourage Ernie to Put Down The Duckie while modeling the appropriate behavior of playing their instruments without a squeeky support animal.

Acknowledging the failure of these behavioral interventions, Mr. Hoots turns to a more psychodynamic understanding of Ernie's persistant dysfunctional behavior. Addressing the separation anxiety which prevents Ernie from parting with his duckie, Mr. Hoots reassures Ernie that he does not need to permanently part from his duckie, and adding a cognitive component, he takes Ernie through stages of imagining progressively more difficult forms of seperation ranging from putting the duckie in his pocket, to sending him off on a train, and finally to flying duckie off on a rocket! With his internal conflicts identified, his fears exposed, rehearsed, and allayed, Ernie is at last able to Put Down the Duckie in what is truly a successful psychotherapy.


Sarebear said...

NOOOOooooooooooooooooooo! Now I'll have that song in my head all night. Dd used to watch that all the time, but we've sort of misplaced it. Time for her to put down the duckie . . . .

Course, there's that OTHER song, Do the Rubber Duck. I think.

Very funny. Maybe Clink could learn a thing or two from Ernie's example!

Steve & Barb said...

Hilarious post, Dinah!

You failed, however, to expose his paraphilia ("Rubber Duckie, you're the one... You make bathtime so much fun").

ClinkShrink said...

Eyew, Roy, thank you for that mental image!

I've had that song going through my head for the last day, ever since I posted my comment about putting down the duck. It was gone for years, now it's back. Dinah, I thought of your case formulation last night so it was great to see it today.

And no, I haven't put down the duck. It's not a problem. Really.

I put up a link to the mp3 file.

Dinah said...

Clink, that you for adding the music! I noticed you changed the title, hoping you also corrected my spelling typos.

Dr. Deb said...


Anonymous said...

Oh this is fantastic! and the video is now available on Youtube