LOS ANGELES, CA – The direct result of budgetary cutbacks and an attempt to stay afloat, psychiatrist Eric Tavernier has downgraded his psychiatry couch for a sh*tty-ass lawn chair that he dug out of the shed.
“What can I say? It’s real-world medicine,” Tavernier said, shrugging his shoulders. “I can still listen, I can still lend a shoulder to cry on, and I can still offer advice. What I can’t offer is my cushy couch with its doughy cushions any more. I can’t afford it, it’s more expensive than you realize. And it’s not that my lawn chair is terrible… Well, I mean it is pretty dusty and one of the straps is ready to break…”
Tavernier understands losing the couch makes a break with Freudian tradition of allowing free association; that is, allowing the patient to speak what readily comes to his or her mind while lying on the couch and not making eye contact.
“The couch comforts the patient,” Tavernier continued while wiping away the dirt and cobwebs, “so yes, I’m worried that this lawn chair… Well, that all the free association will be centered on how crappy this lawn chair is rather than to any other deeper, unconscious thoughts or feelings.”
Tavernier added, kicking it, “It really is a piece of sh*t.”
In addition to downgrading the psychiatry couch to an awfully-tacky green, yellow, and white lawn chair, Tavernier is also abandoning his office entirely and simply setting up shop on his front yard. That’s right, just a lawn chair and a yard.
“If there’s one positive, the patient can now look into the sky rather than the ceiling, and we can all work on our vitamin D deficiency, right?” Tavernier half-heartedly chuckled, trying to spin this all in a positive light. “Sure, it might become problematic when it’s 100 degrees out or raining, and also our neighbors tend to be home a lot and gossip, which would be bad for patient privacy… Ahhh, who am I kidding? I’m nothing without that couch!”