the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Speech Therapy

Thank you to everyone on Facebook who recommended a good therapist in New York. You’re nice people  (and apparently rather troubled).   I promise to look into it this week.

Today I went to my family doctor for a check-up.   After the nurse took my blood, Doctor R enter the examining room and sat across from me.

“I hear you wanted to ask me something, Neil.”

“Yes, I wanted some recommendations on seeing two other professionals.”


“First, I’ve been feeling congested lately and I want to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.”

“Fine.  Let me send you to Doctor Grossman at NYU.  He’s very good.”

“And then, I was wondering if you know… because I was thinking of going to…. well, like a therapist.”

“Is that rotator cuff still bothering you.  I can send you to that physical therapist in Flushing.”

“No, not a physical therapist.”

I noticed Doctor R checking out my shoulder.  I pointed my finger upwards towards my face to help him understand what type of therapy I was discussing.

“Oh, I know someone very good at Queens College,” said Doctor R.   “She’s the chairman of the speech therapy department.”

“Speech therapy?”

“She’s a speech therapist.”

“Why would you send me to a speech therapist?” I blurted out.

“I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“Is there something wrong with the way I speak?  Jesus, now I’m really paranoid.  No, I’m talking about…”

I pointed my finger upwards again, this time directly at my head, as if I was about to shoot myself with my index finger.   The doctor’s “speech therapy” comment made me so anxious, I couldn’t think straight or come up with the right word.

“…I’m talking about… what do you call it.  I can’t think today.  A head therapist.   A brain therapist.”

“A psychiatrist?” he asked.

“Yes!  Well, no.  A psychiatrist sounds too serious.  I just probably need a regular therapist.  Not anyone with a fancy medical degree.  To talk to about things.  Someone’s who relatively cheap.  But still good.”

“I see.  An inexpensive therapist who’s still good.”

“Yes,” I said.

“I know of one person.   But would you mind seeing a therapist who shares his office with an auto body shop on Queens Boulevard?”

Note:  The previous was mostly true, except for the last line, which was thrown in at the last moment for humorous effect.


  1. Marinka

    Don’t say no to speech therapy.

  2. Estelle Sobel Erasmus

    I was laughing well before you threw in your last sentence. Which I don’ t think you even needed. Maybe just kind of answer it in your head and then you don’t have to say you threw anything in. Just my two cents. I love to laugh so love your writing.


  3. Jasmine

    Man, I wish I didn’t know you so I could be your therapist. You’d be awesome.

  4. erin margolin

    I love my therapist. You can share him if you come to KC? Or maybe he’s be willing to do a Skype/phone session?


  5. Rene Foran

    Whatever Marinka says, do. Laughing so hard.

  6. Marta

    Are you a tongue thruster?

  7. Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo

    I’m all for therapy – speech therapists, mental health therapists, sex therapists… not that you need that, though I’m sure there is definitely one on Queens Boulevard.

  8. magpie

    you win. the auto body shop made me snort.

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