Robby Brown The Exorcism

Talking Stories

A middle-aged woman brought her 8-year-old daughter Mary in to see me. Mary was a very imaginative child who was a good student at school but became the terror of the neighborhood when she arrived home. She claimed to hate her younger sibling but loved the youngest. She was the elder of the three. When asked about the reasons for her behavior and attitude her simple reply was ³the monster made me do it´. It was always the same reply for all of the negative behavior. Now from the beginning of this session the child and I were sitting on floor of my office and the mother was sitting on a couch opposite of us. After hearing about this monster¶s terrible powers for about enough I pulled myself away from facing the child and pulled my knees up to my chest. I then began to mumble unintelligibly to myself. The child became curious as to my odd behavior. She asked me what I was doing. I ignored her. Once again she asked what I was doing to which I ignored as well. I began to get visibly agitated and with a slightly raised voice said ³of course your mother hasn¶t got the slightest bit of courtesy now does she´? The mother sat rather stunned across the room when I winked at her. ³What do you mean´? The child exclaimed! ³Your mother took you out of a perfectly good day of school and brought you here without telling you anything about me!´ ³What disrespect to my powers!´ ³What powers?´ The child asked with anxious excitement. ³Why you are looking at none other than the master wizard for the entire State of Florida!´ I exclaimed while pulling an odd pencil out of my pocket. ³I am one of the most powerful wizards in the universe and I am an expert on monsters who trouble little children.´ The child sat there in a look of awe that I cannot recall ever seeing in a child. ³There has yet to be a monster in this land which I have not been able to defeat. Why I am the only wizard who can make a monster leave and he never returns.´ I then looked the child in the eyes and said, ³do you know what this means if the monster is no longer making you behave badly´?³I will be good´ she exclaimed and clapped with childish excitement. All right I feel we are ready to begin as I got the child and mother in a circle on the floor. I got out a large piece of paper and drew a big ³X´ on it. After ³making up´ some spells, I instructed the child to grab the monster and I would smash him onto the ³X´ on the paper. I then told the mother and child to wad up the paper. We took it outside of my office and burned ³the monster´ This was my first and last session with this child. Her behavior improved remarkably as she no longer had a monster to blame her ill behavior on. I hear from the mother or get a card once or twice a year and have gotten many referrals from her. It has been 3 years now and the monster has not returned. A clinician cannot have the luxury of only studying child behavior. One has to get into the mind of a child and even become one again if only for a short while. Psychotherapy is not yet a pure science. Like fly-fishing it is part art and part science. Take either part away and efficacy suffers.

Copyright 2002 Robby V. Brown, All rights reserved.

The Chain Gang A 12-year-old child was brought to see me by his mother who was in deep distress due to the abusive behavior he had inflicted on his younger brother. He had repeatedly told his brother that he hated him as well as recently stabbing him with a screwdriver. There was no father in the picture. The mother shared the previous information with me on the telephone and also said he was unwilling to talk to anyone about it so I was prepared when he came into my office trailed by mom. I didn¶t even look him in the eye at first. I simply asked sternly, ³Is this him´? To which she responded affirmatively. I then looked him over as if I was sizing him up for a costume and jotted down some meaningless gibberish on my notepad occasionally looking up at him. After I had intimidated the young man sufficiently I went in for the kill. I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a telephone book and started thumbing through it. I pulled my phone closer preparing to make a call. I drew this out to last approximately fifteen minutes. All the while speaking nothing to the child. I was simply waiting for him to get curious. As I started dialing a bogus number he hesitantly asked, ³Who are you calling sir´? Acting as if I missed the number because of his interruption, I made myself to appear visibly flustered and began to ³redial´ and finally muttered ³the chain gang, who else?´ I then attempted to ³redial´. ³Wa-wa-what is the cha-chachain gang sir´? He asked. I slammed the phone down visibly upset that he had interrupted me again. I AM CALLING THE CHAIN GANG FOR YOU. ³Did you make arrangements for him to no longer be in school?´ I asked his mother. ³Yes I did,´ she said following along trying to hide her surprise. ³Good, We will have to get him an especially small uniform´« and this and that. Again more terrified this time the child inquired as to what is a chain gang. I explained to him that they were prison inmates who worked on the side of the road and busted up concrete. I told him my ONLY concern was that he would be unable to lift the sledgehammers they use because they weigh as much as he does. ³They have really neat uniforms though white and black striped. They also chain a big ball to your ankle so you can¶t run away.´ After I had sufficiently glorified the duties of 1940¶s chain gangs I picked up the phone to call and see if they had any ³smaller hammers´ As soon as he saw I was making a call he politely spoke up and said ³Is there any way you can help me so I wont have to go to the chain gang´? ³Well I suppose but if you harm your brother again it is straight to the chain gang young man´! I spent about 20 minutes talking to him about how to control his anger and talk about things instead. I then brought his mom in and instructed her to go buy some ammonia ³smelling salts´ at the drug store. Any time he tries to harm his brother or gets angry she is to break one and immediately put it under his nose. Mom has yet to have to use the smelling salts and the child has a newfound respect for his brother. It has been a year this was my first and last session with this child and his mother emails me often to tell me how well he is doing. Copyright 2002 Robby V. Brown, All rights reserved.

Grow Some Balls

A local divorce recovery group referred a young woman to me. She was meek and mild tempered. It was hard for her to talk about her divorce. When it came to more intimate ways she had been abused, she could not even mutter the names of sexual organs. She was uptight, guilty, and timid. She quietly talked for most of the session about the abuse that consumed her marriage. It was sad indeed. We came to the end of the session and I told her I was going to tell her something that was indeed going to make her mad, but also not like me or ever come back to see me again. I also told her that if she chose not to heed my advice or come see me again that I didn¶t really care. I would not loose a moment¶s sleep at night over it. She quietly and anxiously awaited what I was about to say. ³Your problem Jenny is that you need to grow some balls´! She sat there stunned while I wrote out her bill. I was speaking at the divorce recovery group Jenny attended later that weekend. She spoke of being angry at first and then how insensitive I was as I wrote out her bill for the session. Then she produced perhaps the hugest grin I have ever seen! She said she only wished someone had told her that years before and how she had needed to hear that all her life. She then informed me that she could not come back to see me that week because she had decided to sign up for school to be a probation officer. I smiled and told he how happy I was for her. A few weeks later she called me. There was much noise in the background. ³Dr. Brown, guess what I¶m doing, we are out on the range shooting our shotguns, BOOM«BOOM«BOOM!´ I could hardly hear her over the noise of the firing range. I could only find but one reply: ³Lady, I told you to grow some balls, I didn¶t say they had to be that big!´ my reply was jovial indeed. This was my first and last session with Jenny. One bit of advice though should you ever meet her« don¶t mess with her. That woman has some balls.

Copyright 2002 Robby V. Brown, All rights reserved.

Angry Greg ± two for the price of one

Greg was brought in to see me by his mother Rose. He had been having severe anger problems to the point of hitting his brother. He was 13 years old, a reasonably good student in school, but his anger oftentimes just ³got the best of him´. While I was talking to Greg, I asked him the most annoying sound he has ever heard. His quick and simple reply was ³the school bell, it drives me crazy´. As we talked I taught him how he could rate his level of anger on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being not angry and 10 being the angriest he has ever been. As I was speaking to him I began carefully pacing my voice and varying my tone of speech. He immediately began to glare straight forward into a trancelike state. I noticed his mother leaning back on the couch beside him extremely relaxed. I began to make subtle suggestions to him about his anger and how it affects him physiologically. I also explained the effects of his anger on his relationships with his mother, family, and friends. I began to describe in vivid detail how he would feel at each level of anger beginning with one and ending at ten. I told him that if his anger level rose to a level of 5 a bell just like the one at school except 5 times louder would go off in his head and that it would be the most annoying and excruciating sound he has ever experienced. I then told him how to STOP, THINK, and RESPOND to things that made him feel angry rather than REACTING to them. I also told him letting the anger control him was the same thing as letting someone else he didn¶t like control him. I then said very loudly, ³Now give me a five´! He immediately came out of the trance and gave me a ³five´. A week later the mother called me astounded. She reported that her son was a different young man. There had even been some extenuating circumstances that he would have been justified getting angry at and he remained calm STOPPED, THOUGHT, and then RESPONDED to the situation. She even reported that ³something´ happened the evening I saw them and that her anger has been well under control and she was most happy about that. I thanked her kindly for the update and wished her the best. About two weeks later I was invited to speak at a divorce recovery group and saw Greg and his mother there. Greg came up and calmly hugged me and then gave me a ³five´. He was so amazingly calm that I asked his mother what medication he had been put on. ³Not a thing´ she replied. He has been just this way since we last saw you. I asked Greg what has changed him. He said he began to get angry once and heard ³THE BELL´It was such a horrible sound to him that he began to STOP, THINK, and RESPOND to situations when he felt his anger rising to a 2 or 3.He just couldn¶t take the sound of the ³BELL´ Annoyances can be great motivators for positive change. This was the first and only time I saw Greg for psychotherapy. I simply provided a plot. His annoyances did the rest. Copyright 2002 Robby V. Brown, All rights reserved.

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