July 3, 2007

Therapists' Reports On Irrational Numbers

Client: 2

Presenting Issue: Despite its powerful position in the number family and its eminent divisor capabilities, two persists in believing that it can go into five equally, because, as it frequently claims, "it's just me upside down".

Treatment Plan: Recommending humanist approach to help two gain a more emotive sense of self, and then cognitive-behavioral techniques to help it come to terms with a more realistic appraisal of both its assets and its limitations. Need to resolve boundary issues with five; consider inviting both to some sessions together.

Client: 7

Presenting Issue: While outwardly appearing to be a no-nonsense number, seven frequently resorts to highly magical thinking as the answer to some deeply-engrained identity issues. Seven believes that it possesses mystical powers to bring the other numbers good luck simply by association. Nearly constant delusions of grandeur result in narcissistic proclivities and the alienation of most other numbers.

Treatment Plan: Without devaluing seven's strong sense of self, need to use some rational-emotive techniques to tease out its thoughts (mainly about itself), beliefs and actions. Once those have been adequately aired, seven and its therapist should confront each to more fully visualize the circular feedback cycling inherent to all three. Examine use of anti-psychotics to help quiet the unrealistic, magical script constantly playing in its head.

Client: 13

Presenting Issue: Perhaps too numerous to delineate here. Thirteen morbidly obsesses on its supposedly "cursed" (its words) nature. Believing itself worthy of nothing but pity, shame, scorn and hatred, thirteen fails to seek out healthy social relationships, preferring instead to entangle itself serially with questionable life partners such as 86 and 420 with which it invests enormous amounts of energy for ultimately no real return. This type of self-destructive connection helps to validate thirteen's desperately low self-image. Prone to self-cutting and unhealthy addictions, it seems to call out for abusive treatment, and, indeed, seems to seek it out to fulfill its own negative self-prophecy.

Treatment Plan: Treat the addiction first by encouraging group process work and finding thirteen a mentor for staying sober. Consider connecting it with Numbers Anonymous chapter in the area. Treat the underlying depression with SSRIs and a mood stabilizer. Work on self-acceptance through flooding thirteen with unconditional positive regard. Encourage small lifestyle changes to help extract thirteen from destructive behavioral cycles. (Walking for exercise or starting a hobby, for example) Gradually introduce cognitive behavioral principles and techniques as thirteen's improvement in self-regard warrants.


Anonymous said...

2 (two) is NOT and irrational number, it is a PRIME number. The square root of 2 is an irrational number. GET IT RIGHT BLEET.

The folowing message is also true for 7 and 13.

Thank you for your attention.

Brendon Etter said...

Dear Anonymous,

Not sure how to reply to this comment. Could be you're just jerking my chain, and you are being tongue-in-cheek with your criticism, or it could be that you actually don't get the joke here.

For the record, I completely understand that 2, 7, and 13 are rational whole numbers that happen to be prime (more of a coincidence here)....

I chose them because they have significant "stories" - 7 being a "good luck" number in America, 13 being the opposite, and 2, in addition to its dominant, even-natured position in our ordinal system, being a number which looks a lot like an upside-down 5, especially when displayed on a gym scoreboard.

The "Irrational" in the post title refers to a number being psychologically irrational. Indeed, that wordplay represents the entire conceit of this post's humor

You know, two meanings of the word and all that?

I know full well that the square root of two, and pi and e and uncountable other numbers are irrational, and I know that primes are rational.

See, it was a joke on the word "irrational"... I thought it would be more funny to use irrational rational numbers than to use irrational irrational numbers. Though I could have used both, but you may have been even less-inclined to accept the rationality of my little jokes then.

Incidentally, my nom-de-blog is spelled "Bleeet" - three e's. It's a play on my full name and the word 'bleat' in the sense of blathering on and on, like this comment.

See, again, I'm playing with the multiple possibilities and uses of words. It's a recurring theme for me.

Thanks for the comment though.