Shrink's Views

ramblings of an unknown psychiatrist

Psychiatrist as a Prostitute

Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on August 1, 2011

A very admirable teacher of mine said, “Psychiatrists are emotional prostitutes. They make the client have a ‘good feeling’ and get paid for giving that experience.” It might sound very crass, but there is some truth to it.

A good psychiatrist maintains boundaries in his therapeutic relationship, so as to prevent hurt and damage to the client and the therapist herself. Is it not like a wise prostitute would want a barrier to prevent transmission of diseases?

A psychiatrist would do everything to avoid being physically involved with the patient. It goes against her professional interest. Would not a prostitute be afraid of being emotionally involved with her clients? Emotional involvement for a sex worker could mean free sex with the one involved, which is bad business!

Both need contacts to earn referrals. They manage the bulk of clients with social skills more than technical skills. However to retain top class clients technical expertise is a prerequisite.

Many end up in prostitution without their choice. It may be a good finding if psychiatrists chose their profession. Interestingly there is something that makes a psychiatrist worse than a prostitute. A prostitute sells her body to serve her client but many psychiatrists sell their soul to pharmaceutical companies without the knowledge of their clients.

Sadly both prostitutes and psychiatrists get stigmatized in society. Society wrongly thinks they are preoccupied with sex when they are actually preoccupied with their business!

Intentionally the gender of the psychiatrist used here is female so as to not let men appear intellectual as psychiatrists and women appear weak as prostitutes.

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22 Responses to “Psychiatrist as a Prostitute”

  1. Deepthi said

    An absolutely absurd blog!!!!!I totally disagree with your whole idea of this comparison. I donot understand, are you trying to elevate a prostitute to a psychiatrist or are you degrading, demeaning and belittling the profession of a psychiatrist to a level of a prostitute!!!! If you think by providing “feel good factor” is equivalent to prostitution, then there are other professions too who do the same thing, so can you call everyone as prostitutes?? Your comparison is very grose!!!

    • Thanks for bothering to reply.I do not have any doubt in my mind that I would prefer psychiatry as a profession for anyone and would discourage prostitution as a profession for anyone too. I was only trying to say that scientific men could stoop to low levels out of greed.

  2. Ravi Rajkumar said

    I think philosophers would call this a “category error” or something like that. But I’m no philosopher, so what would I know?

    Certainly, there are psychiatrists who “sell out” to pharmaceutical companies. But this also applies to physicians, or (say) to research scientists who “sell out” to military interests and help in developing lethal weapons. This does not mean that any or all of them can be compared to prostitutes. In the scientific and medical cases, both parties profit at the patient’s (or public’s) expense; in prostitution, the person involved is often just trying to stay alive.

    Prostitutes are often victimised and stigmatized, which is not really the case with psychiatrists. Unlike the psychiatrist who is self- or institute-employed, prostitutes are often “employed” by irregular or criminal elements, who then exploit them and cast them out when they have no use for them. Our lives are much less dangerous than that! (Of course, we may occasionally get kicked by a violent patient, but that doesn’t happen every day.)

    We can choose our professions. Though some people end up in psychiatry by default, others choose it voluntarily. On the other hand, a majority of prostitutes are forced into the act by economic, social or other pressures. Comparing the two groups obscures this important distinction.
    Furthermore, psychiatrists do not make a patient “feel good”. Often, they treat a patient against his / her desires (as in mania, schizophrenia, alcoholism), aiming to achieve a long-term benefit rather than instant gratification. The psychiatrist-as-prostitute​, pharmaceutical company-as-pimp comparison is provocative, but the logic is flawed.

    But that’s the beauty of opinions, isn’t it?

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      I admire your depth in thought.You are right. I was intentionally being provocative with the use of word ‘prostitute’, so as to bring down the pride of so-called-intellectuals who are now down to business. I agree with all that you have said. The faulty logic that you see could be called a ‘misuse of allegory’ by self confessed amateur armchair philosophers like me 🙂
      Thanks for adding many dimensions to the comparison. I really appreciate your input.

      • Ravi Rajkumar said

        Well, allegory is a hallmark of human intelligence… but some comparisons are best kept to oneself 🙂 On the other hand, I’ll give you points for courage: I wouldn’t post a thing like that myself even if I thought it!

        As for armchair philosophising, join the club… I am as big an armchair thinker as you are!

  3. amazing piece of work …. humourous as well as though provoking

  4. Sharon Daniel said

    Would u feel better (corollary would it be considered a service) if you did it for free…… the point(economically speaking) is that any professional is selling his wares in the market and that is exactly what the prostitute is doing too… would the prostitute still go about her business if she could afford to (i do not know)….. would i stop practicing if i could afford to (i do not know..) …. so i guess they are both the same in a sense but it does not mean anything special / either good or bad …. finally sometimes i do feel f****ed up at the end of long therapy sessions : )

    By the way, What about psychiatrists who do not make their patients feel good at the end of the session… i wonder!!!!

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      I love your oppositionality which adds beauty to what is ‘normal’. I like the parallels you have drawn regarding feeling f***** up or not satisfying a client.
      The first commentator and many others feel that the comparison is detestable because they are not comparable for the reason of goodness and badness.
      I am just curious to know why you feel that there is nothing specially good or bad in these?

  5. Swetha Sheth said

    you’ve told me this before n I DONT AGREE!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Reminds me of a song by sting called “tomorrow we’ll see

    ‘Being pretty’s my only crime
    Ask what future do I see
    I say it’s really up to me
    I don’t need forgiving
    I’m just making a living

    Don’t judge me
    You could be me in another life
    In another set of circumstances

    Don’t judge me
    One more night
    I’ll just have to take my chances
    For tomorrow we’ll see”

    • Ronald Carey said

      You say, What is more
      She is after all a whore
      Remember you forevermore
      He used her to teach worship from the core

      You are paid to coax one’s mind
      Never mind what there you might find
      Hail the intrinsic worth of the person
      For whom He died God’s only Son

      Just do it for His sake and glory
      Learn to ignore all men’s fury
      Even the one who asks Can’t God be a delusion
      By his own standards he too could be an illusion.

      Let them sell themselves for more mammon
      You better stay away from such a simpleton
      Remember in the end you will give an account
      To Him who made the ocean and the mount.

  7. Rajesh Isaac said

    LOL 🙂

  8. Great one! Loved it! Can’t understand why so many others are up in arms with you!! makes good sense to me!! And you can include all the rest of us doctors as well – we are all in the danger of prostituting ourselves on the altar of money. Good to see you back on the blog again! Take care.

  9. Jeevan said

    Well, Dheeraj… What’s happened to you? Thought provoking. But, most of us are into the act of making patients feel good. 60% of my general OPD crowd come with supratentorial complaints and my job is to make them feel good. And many of us have ended up selling our souls to pharmaceutical companies…

    • Dheeraj Kattula said

      Thanks Jeevan. I am doing well by God’s grace. Moving back to psychiatry from neurology from tomorrow.
      Customer satisfaction is at the core of every craft. Selling is the core any business.
      We are a ones of a different kind who care more about being right in principle than being just pragmatic. There is a different world outside of us.

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