Monday, January 25, 2010

Behind the Couch? Please Vote!

We've been quibbling about a title for our book-to-be for over a year now. We've used a working title of Off the Couch: Three Psychiatrists Discuss Their Work. Clink and I like it, Roy hates it, our editor cringed and changed it to Off the Couch: How Psychiatry Works and How Psychiatrists Think. We've toyed with everything from Beyond the Couch, to Psychiatry Demystified, to Set the Couch on Fire. Then HappyOrganist suggested Behind the Couch in one of the comments. Behind the Couch--- I like it, it has the whole behind the scenes connotation. Oddly enough, Roy liked it. Roy liked it. Wow. It's the first title that all three of us have been able to live with. Editor says "we'll see." She obviously didn't love it. So for the moment, our working title is : Behind the Couch: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work. Thank you HappyOrganist!
So I want to know: do you like this title? I know it's a complicated question, there's "do you like it" versus "would you buy it?" versus "would you pick it up in a bookstore" versus "Yuck!" So I'm just going to ask as a yes or no poll. Please vote and thanks for your input.


Momma said...

Hey, the clients sit on the couch, not you all. C'mon I know you guys must of seen the blog "Behind the Couch" so it's a rip off if you take her title.

You are in the chair. So maybe "behind the chair". OR "In Therapy" (right HBO took it) or "Why 45 Minutes?" Or just leave that part off, and stick with the rest of it.

Anonymous said...

Sure, just steal the title.

Sunny CA said...

Momma: I followed the link you posted and that blog does not use "Behind the Couch" as a title. Also, Momma, isn't the title a reference to the old days when the client would lay on the couch and the psychiatrist was seated behind and to the side of the patient's head, therefore behind the couch? If that isn't the mental picture one gets, the title makes no sense, so a nice slightly comic illustration might help. My search showed only an old Frazier TV DVD with the title "Behind the Couch" so that name is no problem.

I think the title is great and saleable though I have always preferred "Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work" better because I love a good play on words.

Woundedgenius said...


As the writer of erstwhile blog Behind the Couch I thought I might make a comment..? :)

As someone mentioned, I have long-since given up writing the blog and the URL is no longer in use - what is now live is an archive of old posts.

I have been in discussions about turning it into a book but this is unlikely to come to pass at any time in the immediate future as I do not have the time to commit to the project.

I would appreciate it if, using this title, you would make it clear that your book and my blog are unconnected. After all, I imagine a book written by therapists would not want to be confused with a blog written by a client.

All the best
(formerly BTC)

tracy said...

i knew i'd heard that name somewhere and that it had to be a blog. Really miss you, Woundedgeinus! Come Baaaaack!

Sarebear said...

Behind the Couch is decent, although the Couch thing is dated, alot of people still associate that with psychiatrists.

I do like having Shrink Rap at the beginning of the title better, although there's been that one podcast guy with a similar title isn't there? So don't know if that'd mess with it or not. Maybe you'd just have to say you aren't associated with that.

But I like the Shrink Rap being in the title best, because it conveys how informal the three of you are. Bringing the Couch into the title instantly ramps up the formality of the feel of you three, and while the book may be more formal than you three are on the blog? I'm guessing and/or hoping that's not going to entirely be the case or there'll be a disconnect between your blogreaders when they go to pick up your book if it becomes a completely formal, stiff, thing . . . . . Or since there's the three of you, "Shrinks' Rap: Three Psychiatrists & Their Individual Perspectives on Psychiatry & Related Issues."

Okayyy . . . so that's a bit long. I just think if you don't give ANY opinions on things that potentially impact psychiatry but aren't strictly psychiatry, well sometimes that's some of your best stuff (that's why I added "& Related Issues"). Of course, you will have by now have sorted out what's going in the book and what's not, by now, but still.

Or then there's a potential pun (Here ya go, Clink!)

"Couched in Psychiatry: Three Psychiatrists & Their Insights Into It"

(You could always add, & Related Issues, but that really seems to load down this last title. I don't know if it is clear that the "IT" is referring to the word "Psychiatry" that is just before the Colon; It may seem like the IT is referring to the psychiatrists themselves . . . if we can fix this grammatical problem, to me this seems like the title w/the most punch, if we can get it so that the end word focuses on the word just before the colon. I'm just leery of using the word psychiatrist, psychiatry, etc. too much in the title.) I had thought of saying, and their insights into their profession, but that's another big word that begins with P. . . . so I don't know. I also thought Insights worked well since Insight is important in therapy . . . . lol.

So, there I go, throwing a whole couple of new titles right off the top of my head at you, with a pun just for Clink right there at the end . . . .

OOOh!!! You know, You could just leave off the "Into it, and say,

"Couched in Psychiatry: Three Psychiatrists & Their Insights"

How's That? And it's not huge either . . . . I think it also comes across that you'll be talking ABOUT psychiatry, since it starts off with, COUCHED IN PSYCHIATRY . . .

. . . despite what I said earlier about the couch thing being dated . . . . lol. I did get inspired by the pun idea, since Clink and I share that sensibility.

If this pun thing gets used, do I get a signed complimentary copy? Heh. Hee!!


Not claiming ANY ownership of the idea!! Always happy to volunteer brainstorming ideas!!!


Sarebear said...

Or, "Couched in Psychiatry: Three Psychiatrists & Their Perspectives On It"

Perhaps that makes it clearer that the "Their Perspectives On It" Is about the pre-colon word, Psychiatry.

It feels like it to me . . .

Anyway, just another idea off the top or bottom of my head, lol.

Now I've got this image of you three, peeking over the back edge of Behind a Couch, lol . . .or your sneakers sticking out from behind it, eeee, that makes me wonder what you all are doing back there . . . . roflmao never mind THAT.

Off to go do my torture stretch, I mean seated knee flexion. See ya later!

Sare (let me know what you think of any ideas, even if it's a guffaw at the pun, or a groan in Roy's case lol heh).

Owner said...

In terms of how interesting the title is, you could do a little experiment, i.e. posting links with the different title options on a forum, message board, whatever, and seeing how many clicks it gets (so _not_ a poll).

I actually don't like behind the couch too much, I think it's rather uninteresting; however, it could work if you have a funny drawing on the cover. But you definitely need SOMETHING to make "behind the couch" a catchy title.

Unknown said...

"Poems from behind the couch": done already
"Squirrel on the couch": done already (shame like it)
"No one ever saw a cowboy on the psychiatrists couch": done already
"Couch potato": overdone too Homer Simpson
"NHS Psychiatrists: Short of a full couch"
"Tales from a psychiatrists couch": done already
"Up from the couch"
"From the other side of the couch"
"Lay down on the couch and listen up"
"Vinyl psychiatrists couch for sale"
"From couch to coach"
"Notes from the couch"
"Analyse this. Couch potatoes"
"The big comfy couch"
"Analysing the analysts couch"
"This couch is too soft, this one is just right"

I'm actually liking "Psychiatrists do it on the couch"

My homework tells me these have all been done before. Does it have to be the couch??

Anonymous said...

What is it with Americans and couches?! If you consider the UK an important market, you might want to know that a couch-related title will probably just engender confused looks and, once the psychiatry link is realised, slow and wary backing away.

In the UK, Behind The Couch = Dr Who reference.

Couch + psychiatry = Freudian psycho-wotsits = self-indulgent Californian weirdos and/or shagging one's mother.

Really, just try and look outside the couch thing altogether if you want to achieve any international sales under that title, as I think the whole psychiatrist's couch - er - fixation is an American thing. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes. Maybe ditching the couch might be a good thing.

Medical here and a patient too. "Behind the couch" will not catch my eye. It seems a little stuffy, just like a couch.

Who is the target audience? Patients in therapy? Those contemplating therapy? Family of a loved one in therapy? Im thinking this is not aimed at med students / psychol students right?

I will buy your book (speaking here as a consumer who may be browsing the shelves in this area) if it catches my eye, this could be the title and the cover initially and then the blurb on the back has to interest me.

Have some fun with the title and the cover. If I don't pick it up, I not going to buy it! If it's a textbook, give a proper dry and medical-esque name, a dignified cover and stick it next to the DSM. If it's not, have some fun (light heartedness) with it.

Some thing like "Psychobabble Que-est ce c'est?" would grab my interest. Loved that talking heads song.....

The charm of this site is your personalities. Who are you trying to appeal too?

Just some thoughts

Dinah said...

Hmmm: sadly we couldn't come up with a way to do the give & take with 3 voices for the book (we tried) the way it goes so well on a blog. So we're a single blended voice (I'm doing the blending) and we've been whipped out of our weird doctor humor, so if you love Shrink Rap, this will sound bland. Still, we don't think there's a book out there that really gives a straight-forward version of what psychiatry is about, what docs look for in making a diagnosis, why some docs take insurance and others do not, when the legal and psychiatric systems intersect, why some docs see 1 patient 5 times a week for an hour and another doc sees a patient for 15 minutes every 3 months, and areas that are controversial in our field.
The book is aimed at anyone interested in mental health issues, patients, family members, would-be therapy patients, students, primary care docs, and anyone who is NOT a psychiatrists (it's not aimed at shrinks).
Thanks for everyone's input. I really appreciate it!
I'm told the publishers marketing folks will be all over the title

Sarebear said...

That illuminates things, Dinah! What people have been saying about the Couch thing has me kinda re-thinking my pun and thinking about what I'd originally been saying about the couch thing anyway.

Still, if it ends up in there, a pun is a good way to go, hee.

If it does well enough (Let's hope so!!!) perhaps any follow up book they'd give you more time, and you could try to do one with the three voice and "wierd doctor humor", even if the publisher might say, well that's not what the people bought in the first one . . . ."

It's really great that you've seen what you think you can fill in the way of what kind of a book you think needs to be out there, that ISN'T out there, that you three are very well suited to do.

I'm glad to hear about what kind of voice, subject, and style it's going to be, and I'm still going to get it.

Despite all suggestions on the blog, of course the publisher's marketing peeps would be all over the title. Especially with a book of this type - this is the kind of book they'd potentially want to get the authors doing the rounds of morning and afternoon talk shows, if it drew enough buzz (can you imagine? That'd be neat if you three were doing that, but that's I recognize a lofty aim lol. The title and cover design is one of the big ways to get that kind of attention drawn to it, drawn to it so that then people will open up to the content you guys put inside it.

Anonymous said...

I still like "Set the Couch on Fire"

Sasha8988 said...

How about "making sense of the change under the couch cushions" - a plan on logic, therapeutic change, and spring cleaning LOL

Unknown said...

Hi Dinah,

Thanks for your comments. I am Vicki and anonymous "medical and patient" above.

Unfortunately I do understand that you won't be able to publish the book with all the charm of this site and that probably is not your choice.

Best of luck with your endeavours.