View Full Version : Double-Header Question: What do you call psychologists' couches and ...

04-28-2005, 02:42 PM
Question, the first: What do you call those couches you lay down on in psychologists' offices?

And, question the second, I'm thinking of writing some short stories of the one-sided dialog of a guy laying on that couch. Does anyone know of stories, novels, etc. that have already done that?

04-28-2005, 03:11 PM
Well, I've studied psychology and never heard them referred to as anything other than a "couch." I don't know how heavily they are employed in therapy any more. There aren't a great many straight Freudian types left.

04-28-2005, 03:12 PM
Well...at the risk of giving away the ending, I guess you could say all of Portnoy's Complaint takes place on a phychiatrist couch...

That said, the whole couch thing is associated with Freudian pychoanalysis (as practiced by Frued who was a physchatrist not a psychologist, for whatever that's worth). Most people in therapy these days do not lie down on couchs. (Except in New Yorker cartoons.) To the best of my knowledge there is no special name for the couch, but I can ask my mother (although she's not a Freudian).

04-28-2005, 03:38 PM
Sitting on the couch is more accurate these days. My couch is too short to even lay down on.

04-28-2005, 04:40 PM
Some (http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/39/6/11-b) simply say a Freudian couch is just a couch.

Others will call it a chaise longue - (pronounced chezz-lohng) literally "long chair"

04-28-2005, 05:22 PM
I think you could view (I'll make this a spoiler, in case anyone hasn't read it)The Catcher in the Ryeas being a soliloquy-format novel, being told from the couch. It took me a couple of readings before I caughtHolden Caulfield'sallusions to the fact that he was talking to a psychoanalyst. Probably because the guy was annoying me so much that I wasn't concentrating.

The Scrivener
04-28-2005, 05:54 PM
Aside from the Victorian one-sided ones, there's the modern 20th-C. classics by Van Der Rohe and Le Corbusier:

thumbnail pics (http://igrandimaestri.it/eng/chaiselongue-it.html)

04-28-2005, 06:15 PM
Do you mean a fainting couch (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4364703292&category=4960)?

04-28-2005, 06:31 PM
Hmmm ... I guess I am thinking of the New Yorker cartoon-style psychiatrist's office, which often seem to be stuck in the 50s. Maybe I need to rethink my premise.

As usual, I'm enlightened by my fellow Dopers. Glad I renewed!

04-28-2005, 06:51 PM
There was an episode of "Maude" with her on the couch. The shrink didn't get a word in edgewise. In fact I'm not sure if you saw more than the back of his head. It's been awhile.

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