“So, why did you decide to come here, John?” Dr. Connor asked in a monotone voice.
John was stretched out on the couch. He tried to decide how much to say. This was his first time visiting a psychiatrist, and he felt rather uncomfortable. “Well, I’ve just really been struggling since my divorce.”
“I don’t know…I just can’t seem to move on,” John said. “I keep wondering if there was a way to save our marriage. And my ex-wife is making things so difficult with our kids.”
“Yes, I hate my ex-wife, too.”
John sat up. “I don’t hate my ex-wife.”
“Well, I do,” Dr. Connor said, his voice now rising. “My ex-wife really screwed me over.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” John said, looking at the door. He wondered if he could get his money back. “But, I’m paying for this session, so shouldn’t we be talking about my problems?”
Dr. Connor ignored him. “She’s awful. I can’t believe she left me. She kept accusing me of cheating on her. Granted, I actually was cheating on her, but that’s beside the point.” He stood up and started pacing back and forth.” Now she has some new boyfriend. I think I’m going to go over there and pull all the flowers out of her stupid garden.”
“I think I should go,” John said, starting to move toward the door.
“Or maybe I’ll knock over her mailbox. Or I could egg her house. Or I could just leave horrible messages on her answering machine. Where are you going? Your appointment isn’t over for another 20 minutes.”
John had just been turning the doorknob. He turned back around. “I don’t think I’m the one who needs a psychiatrist.”
Author note: This was a dialogue exercise for a class.