Who’s The Bully?

This gem of a clip from Carol Burnett poses some deep questions and ethical dilemmas.

See if you can catch the 5 techniques of psychological abuse demonstrated in the skit😄

Leave a comment


  1. I don’t know about the techniques of psychological abuse in the skit, but I did notice the $40/hour rate for the doctor. I think doctor’s salaries have risen with the times, unlike the salaries of workers. Out of the 10 top-paying jobs in America, physician (GP) is #5, psychiatrist is #2, and surgeon is #1.

  2. Only five? Okay, strap in, let’s take an uncomfortable ride….

    1. Not making eye contact when a patient suddenly erupts in tears is dismissive.

    2. Referring to a patient’s emotional release as a “crying jag” is minimalizing and declaring the tears unconstructive is ignorant.

    3. Doctor’s body language and “Well, well, well’s” are demeaning and infantalizing.

    4. “These are fifty cents a box” comment and withholding of tissues communicates to the patient that her worth is less than fifty cents in the doctor’s eyes.

    5. Doctor’s inserting of personal experience is inappropriate in therapy, especially since it is emotionally triggering for him and negatively affects his ability to remain objective.

    6. Doctor should have recused himself as her therapist the moment he realized his personal involvement in her trauma.

    7. “Crybaby Crenshaw” is name calling and wildly damaging behavior for a therapist under any and all circumstances.

    8. Allowing his emotions free reign and arguing with the patient from a position of personal interest is horrific.

    9. Pointing a finger at a person from close range is a threatening gesture that mimics a weapon being thrust at their abdomen, it causes physiological changes in both parties including hormonal triggering and a rise in blood pressure that inhibits the neocortex from working through the situation mentally rather than emotionally.

    10. Mimicking her childhood voice to make her ridiculous is infantile and reductive.

    11. Bringing attention to her childhood speech impediment is emotionally inflammatory and destructive.

    12. Announcing that she’s “acting silly” is minimizing, dismissive, insulting, and disrespectful and suddenly accusing her in a roundabout way of not being an adult, especially after acting childish, himself, is projecting and gaslighting.

    13. For him to take the bait and immediately launch into another emotionally charged argument when she reasserted it was her pail reveals emotional instability that would cause any therapist’s license to be revoked.

    14. Threatening her and name calling again is emotionally immature.

    15. The fact that he still has an emotionally triggering childhood pail and, in fact, keeps it near him when he is supposedly dispensing psychological aide to vulnerable people is grotesque.

    16. The revelation that he stole and hoarded multiple children’s pails causes all sorts of sociopathic red flag indications to flutter.

    Conclusion: The humor of Physician, Heal Thyself is typically lost on those of us who suffered through horrific emotional abuse as a child and are now exquisitely sensitive to seeing it around us. I stopped watching television and most movies altogether because other people’s pain just isn’t funny anymore.

    • Whew, you’ve identified quite a bucket list (pun, groan)!

      I wonder whether the psychiatrist with a closet full of buckets might be a wry commentary on the people who are attracted to “mental hygiene,” as it was called in those days–not because they actually wanted to help people, but because they themselves were so confused. Their pails were all full of ugly stuff! I think Carol Burnett was a genius at bringing out so many examples of abusive, manipulative behaviors. The emperor has no clothes on!

      Thank you for your careful observations and reply! I know this kind of stuff can be triggering…it certainly got me!

      • Again, Physician, Heal Thyself. Most of them never figure out that their core client is staring back at them every morning in the bathroom mirror.

        2016 was a banner year for personal research into my family’s insidious emotional abuse and I’m proud to say I did it all without so much as a therapist in sight. It’s depressing, though, to realize how much more I know than a lot of certified practitioners out there. (sigh)

  3. Five!!!!! It isn’t just five. It’s the whole psychological chatastrophy.

  1. Who’s The Bully? — Bipolar For Life | An Alchemist's Journey....

What's your take?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: