Friday, August 08, 2014

i'm not a doctor; but i play one on the internet

One of my favorite internet pastimes is to lurk on Mexican message boards -- just for the fun of reading what some people write. 

And I am seldom disappointed in some of the gems I find in the usual dross of complaints about roosters, church bells, and loud music.

Yesterday offered up an uncut diamond that still has me chuckling.  A British psychologist is on her way to Pátzcuaro, and she has announced to one and all that she is willing to offer her services "1:1" -- a code that usually shows up primarily on paid dating sites.

I am not certain what the good doctor's true name is, but the information was posted by one "Pammie Willis."  I kid you not.  So, for the sake of this essay, let's just call her Dr. Pammie.

And, because Mexpatriate is a forum where everyone is allowed her say, let's turn the floor over to Dr. Pammie and let her have it.  "Her say," that is.  After all, this is a kind and gentle site.

By the way, I have made no change in either the grammar, sentence structure, or spelling that Dr. Pammie chose to use in introducing herself to all of us.


I'm a Psychologist from the UK and I'm going to be living in Patzcuaro for 6 weeks from 15th August to 27th September.

As a psychologist I work with adults and anyone involved in the lives of children and young people to learn to grow and to change.  I provide psychological, advice, tools and counselling to help you make the changes for a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life.

I currently work online but if anyone wanted to access this service 1:1 in person then please contact me at: [there is an email address here, but you don't think I am going to pass it on, do you, after what you have read so far?] to discuss further details.

My Qualifications include:

Doctorate in Psychology
BSC (Hons) Psychology
Certificate in Counselling
Level 1 Narrative Therapy

Studied as part of my Doctorate and applied knowledge of:
Psychological Consultation
Motivational Interviewing
Solution Focused Therapy
Approaches in Human Givens counselling
Personal Construct Psychology
Restorative Approaches
Cognitive Approaches to Learning
Narrative Approaches
Person Centred Planning

Registered with Health and Care Professionals Council UK
Practitioner Psychologist
Registration Number: PYL25109
I did not post a response on the message board.  But, if I had, it would have gone something like this.

My dearest Dr. Pammie --

We are all so thrilled that you have announced your plans to come live in
Pátzcuaro for six weeks.  Most people would call that a visit, but, by reading your message, I can understand why someone with such earnest breathlessness would consider six weeks to be a long, long time.  Almost like becoming absolute best friends with everyone -- and I mean everyone -- who lives there.

From your message (with its drifting from third to second person and its haphazard spelling), I am going to assume that English is not your first language.  But, don't worry. 
Pátzcuaro is in Mexico -- and English is the first language of only a handful of people.

I mention that
Pátzcuaro is in Mexico because you may be in for a rude awakening.  If I understand your quaint rambling style, you are a psychologist, and you are seeking paying clients for your particular style of therapy.

You would think that Mexico would be ground zero for psychologists.  After all it is the Kingdom of the Oedipal Complex.  (I capitalized those nouns because you seem to enjoy that sort of thing.) 

Fathers regularly tell their sons that they will not amount to anything.  And mothers tell their sons that they are perfect princes, unlike their scoundrel fathers.  (Families here try not to leave any brooches lying about the house.)

Here's the problem for you, though, dear Dr. Pammie.  Mexico is a country based on relationships.  People have families and friends who they actually talk with and share their problems.  I guess you would call that "Narrative Approaches" in your particular patois.

Unlike the the developed world (where everyone is called a "friend," but hardly any are), Mexicans do not need to waste their time and money on therapy.  In Canada and the United States (and I suspect in the exotic land of the UK -- which really has a full name and does not need to go by a nickname), people used to pour their hearts out to family or friends -- or even bartenders.  But the only people who accepted money for their advice were the nice young women you would find under street lights at night.

Come to
Pátzcuaro.  Enjoy your time there.  It is a great place to visit.  But if you are planing on raking in the moola, the Mexican immigration folks may have something to say about that.  They are likely to pack you back into your snake oil wagon and send you back to Dear Old Blighty.

I hope you have an enjoyable trip.

With best wishes, I am

As always,

Dr. Stevie

PS  You do not need to respond.  I know my readers.  I am about to get a "talkin' to."  And that is better than any therapy in the world.


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