Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Name that Book!

So it's been over two and a half years of Shrink Rap, coming up on 900 posts. With the help of our readers, we think we've gotten decent at talking about psychiatry in a way that makes it more understandable than the psycho-babble I read as a medical student. We thought we'd try a book, some way of getting our rambling thoughts together in a more cohesive and organized way.

We've got a proposal together, and even a little interest. It's got a way to go (several review processes) before we're sure it's a go and before we even start the process of writing it! Of course, we have the blog posts to distill it from.

So here's our issue of the moment: The Title.

We've been using
Off the Couch -- Three Psychiatrists Discuss Their Work --as a working title. I like it, Clink likes it, Roy doesn't like it, the maybe-would be editor doesn't like it. Roy started with wanting to call it My Three Shrinks (isn't that a famous podcast? Oh, yeah!). The editor-to-be suggested How Psychiatrists Think...but I'm a little uneasy with the idea that how We think might represent our entire field. There are some pretty weird shrinks out there.

Roy free associated for me and here's what he came up with:

Psychiatrists Exposed
Psychiatrists Dissected
The Inner Mind of Psychiatrists
My Three Shrinks
Psychiatric Synapses
Inside the Psychiatrist
Inside the Psychiatrist's Brain
Where's the Couch?
How to Annoy Your Psychiatrist
Sex with Fish
The Mental Life of Psychiatrists
Inside the Alienist Mind
Not Your Grandfather's Psychiatrist
Psychiatry for Dummies
Plain Talk Psychiatry
Psychiatric Folks
The Psychiatric Calculus
How Psychiatrists Think
Tabla Rosa
The Blank Slate: Revealed
The Annotated Psychiatrists
Psychiatrists Three
Psychiatrists Cubed
Psychiatrists Talking Trash
Psychiatrists Talking Shop
Psychiatrists Talk Shop
Psychiatrists Thinking Aloud (or Out Loud)

I still like Off the Couch, but if I had to pick from the above, I think I'd choose Plain Talk Psychiatry. ClinkShrink opted for Sex with Fish.

So can you think of a good title? Or put in an opinion on one we've gotten? I like short-- two to four words, if possible, and something catchy. We don't think the word "Shrink" in the title will fly. And the audience-- people interested in mental health issues, patients, family members, students in mental heath professions, health care folks who treat mental illness, but probably not psychiatrists-- it's not a book of rigorous studies, just a conversational walk-through of what we think about and how we think about patients and their problems.

Feel free to make suggests, or to just cast a vote:


Gerbil said...

Hm... I would guess that Psychiatry for Dummies is probably off-limits, and 90807 is a little technical ("um, is that anywhere near 90210?"). I'm gonna have to go with Clink on this one.

O you could do one of those annoying long titles with a colon in it, e.g., Off the Couch: Countertransference, Benzodiazepines, sex with fish, and other things psychiatrists fret about.

Anonymous said...

lol. I was gonna say "Sex with fish," too, but Clink and Gerbil beat me to it.

I didn't think any of Roy's titles were that catchy (sorry, Roy).

I do like Off the Couch, but really, the three of you are more Off the Wall. :)

Rach said...

I like off the couch too... I have a feeling this is not going to be a serious book, so I don't think it shouldn't have a serious title

Anonymous said...

How about " 'Can I staff this with you?'-On being a psychiatrist".

Anonymous said...

Sex with Fish! Sex with fish! Sorry about that ... the advantage of My Three Shrinks is brand recognition. I like Plain Talk Psychiatry but maybe that's too plain. Go on, be daring and choose Sex with Fish with the subtitle that explains it. Pretty please?

Anonymous said...

How about:
"Psychiatrists: Minding their own Business?"

I mean that in a nice way though :)


Owner said...

How about playing on the commonly held stereotype about any profession involving the word "psych"...

"So... you can read my mind? - Three shrinks admit to what they can, and cannot do [yet]"

or something in that sense. I think I would pick up a a book with that title just because I've had people ask me that question a million times and I still find it amusing :)

I like "Off the couch", and "Sex with Fish" would definitely DEFINITELY catch my attention since I've only recently found out that something like that exists. I wouldn't expect to read entries from your blog under that title though, it's a bit far fetched. I wouldn't include the word "brain", that's a bit too technical sounding, especially in relation to psychiatry.

Anonymous said...

Sex with Fish.

Anonymous said...

I can’t say I’m thrilled with Roy’s suggestions (sorry Roy). I think you need a title that will reflect the conversational nature of the book just like Shrink Rap reflects the conversational nature of the issues discussed on the blog. I personally like Off the Couch as it is witty and engaging like the shrink rappers themselves. I would avoid anything with “psychiatry” in the title.

If the three shrinks can’t agree on a title, do the majority of the shrinks rule?

Anonymous said...

Off the Wall (I like that).
Rach: the book will be serious. What can I say? Serious is the wrong word, but the punchy stuff works better for a blog.
Why does everyone like Sex With Fish?
How about Shrink Tank? or Shrink Think?
I'm still working on the mind reading concept.
Mindful; the publisher probably picks the title.....
Minding our Business....that's not bad.
I know, Sex with Fish. Yuk.

Anonymous said...

My choices:

1. Shrink Rap
GREAT title. I have loved the title from day 1.

2. Sex With Fish
Anyone who saw THAT title would pick the book up! OK. Maybe this is my number 1 choice. Do it! You'd get on talk shows just because of the title! (then sit behind a screen? answer questions via voice modifier? How WILL you hide your identity AND promote this book?)

3. My Three Shrinks
I like that too, plus it TIES IN with your PodCast which is a GOOD thing.

I don't really "get" the title Off the Couch. The numbers strike me as zip codes, too, Gerbil. You are writing for the American public not for shrinks, right?

Anonymous said...

If Off the Couch is a non-starter with the would-be editor or the publisher, then go for Shrink Think (nice alliteration), Shrink Rap (brand recognition) or My Three Shrinks (podcast tie-in).

You say that you don’t think “shrink” will fly in the title. Why so?

Roy said...

(This is why I'm not in marketing.) Hey, I was just trying to stimulate the creative juices; that doesn't mean I have any :-)

My thing against "Off the Couch" is that I don't know what it means, and it doesn't explain what the book is about at a glance. Maybe most people still associate Psychiatry with Freud's couch, but I sure don't and I know a lot of others do not, as well. So it doesn't really speak to me.

Hmm, I guess Sex with Fish isn't much better, but it is indeed a catchy title. We'd need a good prologue to explain that one.

So, lately, I'm partial to Psychiatry Demystified or How Psychiatrists Think or My Three Shrinks.

Anonymous said...

(sometimes long titles are the way to go):


Support ducks, sex with fish, and other ways to annoy your psychiatrist...

Unknown said...

Has editor-to-be even seen the blog? 'Cause I can't think of a more bland, awful title than "How Psychiatrists Think." Personally, I think it could be a great book, and successful, if marketed correctly. I really hope you're not just gonna go with the first editor that comes along. Have you sent your proposal to any literary agents? Having an agent is a good way to get an editor who will love your work and fight tooth and nail for every penny in marketing.

Just the two cents of someone in the biz. ^_^ I prefer Off the Couch, but Sex With Fish would certainly be eye catching.

Anonymous said...

A few more thoughts:

What Shrinks Think
Inside Therapy
Why Would Anyone Become a Shrink

Off the Couch seems dated to me (how many shrinks use a couch any more?)

Good luck with the book!

Unknown said...

Oh, and to respond to Roy, I actually think Off the Couch does convey what the book is about. While the reality of psychiatry might not have Freud's couch, the pop culture of psychiatry does. I don't think I've ever seen a newspaper cartoon with a psychiatrist that didn't involve the someone lying on a couch. The couch is an indicator that these aren't just two people talking, a clear physical clue of what's going on. I think it makes sense to bring that pop cultural understanding to the book title, especially with it playing with the phrase "off the wall."

Anonymous said...

I don't like Off the Couch either. I agree it sounds dated and I would like people to get away from connecting the idea of a couch to psychiatry. I had to look through the old posts to see where Sex with a Fish came from and I think that might work. I like Shrink Rap best, but I think there might be a great title out there that hasn't been thought up yet.

Anonymous said...

What's the tone of the book going to be? That might make some difference in what you decide to name it.

Will it be conversational, casual, textbookish, (hopefully not too dry; I like the style on your blog). Is the audience the consumer/patient or fellow shrinks or med students or residents?

Are you going to use pseudonyms, or will you be forced to use your real names for credibility? I know a physicist who wrote a book about psych meds, but used the nom de plume, "Nom De Plume." I don't think it sold well, due to lack of credibility.

If you use your real names, how might that change your participation in the My Three Shrinks blog?

Anonymous said...

The other side of the couch would be my suggestion, says where you are coming from & would make me want to know more also it's about therapy type things it says what it is, in your intro you can say excatly there isn't even a couch anymore even though people expect there to be!

Good luck

Oh & Personally I think the only people buying sex with fish would be online, would you really pick it up in a store & take it to pay???

Owner said...

Three Shrinks, one Couch


The Shrink on the Couch

(I like the word shrink in the title, it makes psychiatrists sound more approachable)

Gerbil said...

BTW, in case anyone is wondering, 90807 is the zip code for Long Beach, California.

(Probably no one else was wondering, but I like to look up these little details.)

jcat said...

I'm with Therapy Patient on this one.
Although 'Off the Couch' isn't bad either, especially as modified by Gerbil!

Anonymous said...

"Shrink's UnWrapped"

Anonymous said...

Psychobabble: The incoherent ramblings of a geek (Roy), a mildly interesting and butch (Clink) and goofy (Dinah) bunch of therapists for people without access to the internet.

Anonymous said...

Roy, Dinah, and "Clink",

I have some observations about your podcast to share in the place you are most likely to see it - your book name post.

PLEASE stop giving 24 spoilers. Spoilers in a podcast are just wrong - it's hard to fast-forward and drive simultaneously.

The dogs barking, cellphones ringing etc I can live with. Also - I don't think grammarian is a word. But PLEASE stop just thinking aloud e.g "Spellcheckers have really saved my life. Or have they made me lazy? Oh well. Hmmmm".

You are doctors doing a podcast. Interrupting each other by raising your voice is quite annoying. So is discussing the quality of skype/tweeter/twitter etc. Try and make your voices a little livelier if you can - plaintive voices make me switch off.

After listening to 6 podcasts I think I have figured out your personalities and have a few "anon-archetypes" (cf Jung!) for you to consider:

1. Roy - into computers. Probably dating a psychologist - or someone from work. Probably quite gangly, a little clumsy. Sees himself as quirky and off-beat but not really.

2. Dinah - very mumsy. Like a person involved in home industries - bakes cookies (probably with a little dog hair). I'm getting a real dishevelled hair in a bun half-moon specs vibe. Borderlines love you.

3. Clink. Controlled. The cleverest of the three but not of your year at medschool. Works hard at knowing things - studying is not effortless for you. Dominant.

As a patient in therapy you certainly are a lot more casual than my terating doctor who maintains rather firm boundaries.


Patient Anon