Meet Dr. Shrill, Psycho-Therapist

GA would like to introduce  you to a highly respected member of the Psycho-Therapeutic community and reality show Producer,  Dr. Shrill,  who will be a featured guest here going forward. 

I have invited the good doctor to help us understand some of the more... um,. interesting personalities in the Hoboken galaxy.

Hello Hoboken!!

I am Dr. Shrill, Psycho-Therapist the creator & syndicator of the soon-to-be smash hit series, “Denial Is Not a River in Egypt.”  

This exciting new reality concept looks for the best examples of disturbed people who seem particularly clueless about their disorders.  We are especially looking for individuals who display their pathology very publicly.  Use of social media, blogs, local access TV, etc. to further splay the sickness gets extra points for our consideration.    (It makes our job easier!)

So imagine my excitement when my “Psycho-Scouts” (what a great job title, if I say so, myself), pointed me to Hoboken, via Grafix Avenger, that brilliant satirist of Hoboken’s nuttiness!   As you know, NJ has its “Housewives” and “Shore” characters.  Even that Buddy Valastro (BORING, except for the OCD displayed in the icing).

For our series though, we’re looking for something  more piquantly disturbed  & Hoboken’s DEFINITELY  got it!!  In fact, as it’s been pitched, we may be able to do our ENTIRE first season, just on your politicians & their entourages.   They seem so wonderfully disturbed & in denial of same---just perfect for our show’s theme!!

We look forward to the possibility of filming not only in Hoboken, but also following certain characters in their possible travels to inpatient units and even federal penitentiaries!  The more certifiable & sociopathic, the greater the denial---the better our audiences will love it! 

Like those pillars of popular psychology, Drs. Phil & Drew, I will be using my over 20 years of clinical experience, diagnosing and parsing out the nuances of pathology and denial for your entertainment.   You’ll note, my branding requires my name and credentials.   And I’m sure you’ll just LOVE the psycho-babble.   The DSM-IV TR is our Bible!   

At “Denial,” we especially love psychosocial stressors & crises---they tend to exacerbate the decompensation.  We LOVE decompensation.  Especially when it veers into active psychosis.

We especially love when national crises like health care & failed economies can add to the external stressors fueling personal psychological meltdowns.   Thanks, Hoboken, for having another one, with your bankrupting hospital and its pending sale.

Which brings me to our featured “Denial” character as we start the series.  Via Psycho-Scouts, I’ve had a chance to read press/view videos, etc. of your Second Ward Councilperson, Elizabeth Mason. 

Wow!  We LOVE her & want her for our show!! 

What a case, Ms. Mason.  And her attorney husband, Richard --interesting, that “Ricky” is what he prefers to be called, apparently---indicates some degree of a childlike self-concept. 

He certainly seems to present regressive defensive postures, involving pervasive magical thinking, including paranoid ideation and infantile grandiosity.  

Indeed, Ms. Mason also seems to display a certain identity diffusion in her frequently shifting ethnocultural affinities.  At times, she seems to identify herself strongly with her husband’s Jewish heritage; at others, her own Italian-American background.  But always, in the service of her over-arching attention-seeking behaviors, which often manifest in histrionic gestures lacking impulse control. 

In fact, Mr. & Mrs. Mason seem a fascinating dyad of mutually enabling pathology in many regards.  Both can be seen as poster children for narcissistic personality disorder, co-morbid with anti-social and histrionic features.  

They have the added factor of wealth, which affords them much more elaborate opportunities for acting out behaviors.   Their blatantly ego-gratifying behaviors (which they seem to rationalize as some form of altruism & somehow believe others share their view---indicative also of impaired reality testing skills), now seem to occur more frequently & floridly, as they perceive their imagined reality to be crumbling around them.    

And because of that wealth, they have amassed an entourage of enablers/sycophants, who participate in their elaborate dance of denial and serve to reinforce their distorted sense of reality, self-importance and systematic disregard for the rights of others.    

They also display “splitting,” a hallmark of borderline pathology:   Their group is all good; Reformers are all bad, with Mayor Zimmer being the personification of evil. 

Now, after elaborately orchestrated, paranoically-tinged histrionics regarding perceived threats---as evidenced by orchestrated attempts to have Nancy Pincus labeled (& even arrested) as a terrorist, Mason’s defensive posture might be seen as “identification with the [perceived] aggressor,” for she is now terrorizing HUMC, by symbolically holding it hostage.   

In short, Mr. and Mrs. Mason’s constellation of behaviors indicate deep psychological disturbances, acted out/enabled in the context of larger, systemic sociopathy (“politics”).  

Juicy, reality-telegenic stuff!  The crew of “Denial” and I thank you for being so crazy, Hoboken! 

Tune in, please!


  1. Brilliant, Dr. Shrill.

    What would be the recommended course of treatment for this deeply disturbed duo: electroshock therapy or full-frontal lobotomy?

    Thanks again, Dr. Shrill. Please come back soon!

  2. Dr., this might be my favorite paragraph:

    "And because of that wealth, they have amassed an entourage of enablers/sycophants, who participate in their elaborate dance of denial and serve to reinforce their distorted sense of reality, self-importance and systematic disregard for the rights of others."


  3. God that's good.

    Take a bow, Dr. I hope you'll be back to take a lot more. We have plenty of loonies left. Think "mother lode".

    I wish this town were cosmopolitan enough to know how proud it should be of this website. A subject for another day...

  4. All those good points! Where are the problems?

  5. Today's messaging that needs to be parsed...

    "I can't in good conscience vote for this outlay of $5million. I will instead commit the city to absorb the $52million bond, $35million in outstanding debts to 5000 creditors, and all legal fees stemming from the settlements thereof. Oh, and 1300 people being put out of work just in time for the holidays, plus layoffs related to municipal cost-cutting necessitated by all of the above. But the $5million - you know, that amount I was trying to eliminate as a surplus for a rainy day like this? - yeah, that's out of the question."

    Good luck with that one, Doctor...

  6. What a fascinating Weds. night in Hoboken, as your "hostage drama" played out!

    And now today, your Gov. Christie, appropriating a quasi-Jungian archetype, as Hoboken's White Knight! For an episode of "Denial," I just LOVE the image of him in a full suit of armor, charging up the stairs of City Hall, a check stuck on the tip of his lance! (Perhaps we can create a short "rescue fantasy" sequence to symbolize his value in the Hoboken "collective conscience"-?)

    Quite the collection of apparently grandiose, anti-social behaviors, your "M.O.R.T" quartet! Given the intended consequences of their behaviors (which appear motivated by severe narcissistic injury, among other issues), one might posit a certain symbolic homicidal ideation (the hospital, the Mayor, local jobs, Hoboken's bond-rating, etc.) on their respective parts, separate from their apparent denial of the suicidality (politically-speaking) of their impulsive gesture (e.g., their vote).

    At "Denial," we never imagined there could be so many seemingly varied "annihilation fantasies" operating within one square mile. Very, very primal stuff! And "primal" really resonates with our viewers!!

    My wonderful Psycho-Scouts are also taking an even closer look at others in the Mason entourage, as we story-board our Hoboken series. In particular, your Russo family. From what I'm gathering, that family profile could be a season's-worth itself! Quite the far-reaching, dysfunctional, multi-generational kinship group, with apparently fragile, shifting allegiances formed around the demonization & destruction of "Reform," historically and your Mayor, specifically. (There's that borderline "splitting" again!) I have assigned one of my staff to research & create a genogram, so I might keep them all straight.

    Given the HUMC crisis of the last 24 hours, my production team and I are now focused on the schadenfreude-angle, given its key importance to our reality concept & viewers. (There's always that subtle balance between schadenfreude and voyeurism!)

    But I can assure you we are just thrilled with the heightened sense of drama! We would agree, "Infotainme"---in Hoboken, we have hit the "motherlode"! At "Denial Is Not A River In Egypt" ("DINARIE"), we take our commitment to commitables very seriously!

    Thank you, Hoboken, for not failing to deliver!


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