The Case For and Against Individual Self Analysis


The on-air sign lit up and Fletch Taylor spoke to his unseen audience, “And tonight our guest will be renowned psychologist Doctor Sue Conrad. Doctor, it’s great to have you with us.”

“It’s great to be here, Mr. Taylor,” she replied.

“You can call me ‘Fletch.’ Everyone does, even my mother,” the announcer joked.

They both chuckled at the remark.

Fletch then added, “What’s the topic this evening?”

After a moment’s pause, Doctor Conrad answered, “Individual Self Analysis.”

“Hmm, sounds heavy,” Fletch replied.

“Not at all,” the doctor started, “Individual Self Analysis or ISA, is relatively simple and while it’s a new field of study, it jus’ may be the oldest search in the history of people-kind.

Doctor Sue Conrad spoke with finality in her voice.

Fletch looked perplexed at her, then asked, “What is that ‘search?’

“Self-truth,” Doctor Conrad blurted out, realizing her mistake.

“I see,” said Fletch, feigning understanding.

He leaned forward and pressed his forehead against the microphone. This pushed his glasses back up on the bridge of his nose.

The doctor went on, “Take, for example, a man who collects – say – teddy bears.”

Doctor Conrad smiled, showing off her large white teeth.

“What’s wrong with teddy bears?” Fletch interjected, “I jus’…”

He was abruptly cut off.

“Nothing — nothing at all’s wrong with it. But maybe that man doesn’t want to face the fact that he’s all grown up,” Doctor Conrad said, adding, “Then again…”

Fletch interrupted her.

“Do you mean to tell me,” Fletch asked, “that a man who collects teddy bears is a child deep down?

His face was pinking-up.

“Something like that,” answered Doctor Sue Conrad. She added, “Only much deeper.”

She could see the color forming in his cheeks and again she smiled.

“Bull-only!” retorted Fletch Taylor with flared nostrils.

“On the other hand,” the doctor started, “this same man could be a warm and sensitive person. He could long to love someone who’ll not hurt him or argue with him.”

Fletch shook his head sideways and remarked, “The warm and sensitive, I’ll give you – but what if he jus’ like teddy bears?” Then he added, “Is there any ‘self-truth’ in that?”

“No,” was all that was replied.

Then Fletch smiled and said, “I have a hypothetical for instance for you…” pausing a couple of seconds to collect his thoughts, before continuing, “Analyze a grown woman who will not eat vegetables or fruit.”

Doctor Sue Conrad glared hard at him as she mentally prepared her reply.

“Maybe she doesn’t like vegetables or fruit,” was the doctors’ answer. She added, “Many people suffer as children from allergies to some foods.”

She went on, “and many never learn to eat or like the taste of these foods. Okay?” she ended in a growl.

Fletch laughed out loud, “You forgot to mention, that maybe as a child, that now grown woman was jus’ plain spoiled.”

He had her and he knew it.

Fletch Taylor announced, “Tonight our guest is Doctor Sue Conrad. Our subject is Individual Self Analysis. It’s fourteen after and we’ll be back after these messages.”

Another voice came over the monitor. It was commercial break.

The shows’ engineer was sitting in the next room, looking through the sound-proof glass, shaking his head. He looked away momentarily as he cut to another commercial.

He looked back up, reached over and turned the intercom on and said, “I sure hope you two don’t fight like this at home,” pausing before he added, “At least in public you could acted like husband and wife.”

He suddenly went silent, and then said, “Stand-by, ten seconds until air — five, four, three, toon, one…”

The on-air light lit up.

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