Man who visits a psychologist

He  sat  on  the  podium,  white  beard  nearly  touching  his  crossed  legs.  His  shoulders  were  kept  warm  by  a  knitted white shawl, carefully tossed in a decorative way. It was difficult to see his eyes. His bushy eyebrows hid his gaze from the packed audience. The tone of his voice echoed his still posture in a soft, yet firm way. He was allowing the people to put questions to him while he listened in a quiet, intense, focused manner.

A  man  stood  up  to  speak  to  him.  “I  don’t  know  where  to  start”,  he  said.  “I  am  going  through  a  divorce  at  the moment. I have fallen in love with someone else. I feel so bad about my behaviour. My doctor has recommended that  I  see  a  psychologist.  I  wondered  what  your  opinion  was  about  psychological  treatment.  Do  you  think  it  will benefit  me?  Or,  should  I  rather  turn  to  my  spiritual  practices  and  pray  and  meditate  more?”  he  asked,  in  all sincerity.

“Brother,  please  explain  to  me,  what  is a psychologist?  What  is  this?” His  tone was  inquiring and  perplexed.  One had to listen carefully to grasp the words spoken in his Punjab accent.

“Well, a psychologist is like a doctor. You make an appointment to see him”, the man answered. “Then what do you do when you go to see him?” the soft voice asked again.

“Well,  you  talk  to  him.  He  listens,  you  talk  and  he  offers  you  advice  or  direction  to  understand  your  problems better”, came the reply.

“And then, Brother, do you have to pay to talk to this person?” he asked pointedly.

“Yes! You do have to pay for the time you have spent with this person”, the standing man explained.

“You do not buy anything from him, or get anything to take home? You pay to talk to this man?” he asked, leaning forward.

“Yes! You pay to talk to him.”

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