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Ask the Rock Doc: 
Sound Advice for a Song 
By psychologist Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT 
Rock Doc Theme Song

Details, and, in some cases, the method of communication associated with the following letter may be altered, to protect the confidentiality of the distressed person.

Ask the Rock Doc theme song (free mp3 download for Phantom Tollbooth visitors): 
Doctor of Your Mind 
Words and music by Dr. BLT (c)2006 
(to be added) 

Dear Dr. BLT: 

I'm a freshman in college.  I'm the only child of a single mom.  I play in a punk band called Beef Jerky, and I'm also the punk rapper in a punk/rap duo called B Tap.  B Tap stands for "beatin' to a pulp." My stage name is OBTS.  It stands for Once Beaten, Twice Shy.  Punk rap is therapy for me.  Instead of going around beating people up, I go off into the mic.   I grew up getting beat by my dad, who also beat my mom.  Almost all of my relationships have ended violently. 

I can't tell anybody about this because it's so embarrassing.  My girlfriend physically and verbally abuses me nearly every day.  We've been dating for 8 months, and she's seriously damaged my face, including breaking my nose on more than one occasion.  I hang in there because I feel sorry for her, and because I'm pretty sure I love her.  But I also hate her, especially when she goes off on me.  She's physically larger than I am, otherwise she probably wouldn't be so bold.   Her father used to beat her to a bloody pulp until she got bigger and stronger than him.   She's really a sweet person, but every once in awhile, this other side comes out.  When she becomes out of control, I call her "the mother of all monsters."

Enough about me.  My friends have been worshipping the ground you walk on ever since they saw you in that Cake music video.  I don't know if you've figured this out yet, but you've got a huge underground following among Cake fans, and punk/alternative fans.  My friends told me about a song that's been playing on college radio called Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones.  They told me that, in the song, you deal with the issue of domestic violence.  They said you could send me an email link.  I usually don't take my mom seriously and blow off most of her advice, but when she suggested I contact you about my problem, I said, "Cool, I'll chat with Dr. BLT," but I agreed under one condition, that you would not try to push your religion or your view of God onto me.   I am not addicted to drugs, but I do accept the idea of a "higher power."  But please don't go talking about Jesus and all of that other garbage hypocrites talk about all the time. 

Once Beaten, Twice Shy 

Dear OBTS: 

I promise not to push religion on you, or, my "view of God," for that matter.  You are not ready to hear what I have to say on those matters, so we'll leave it at that.

BTW, here is that song your friends are talking about: 

Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones 
Words and music by Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT (c)2005 

Thanks for the words of praise, but rather than having you or your friends, "worship the ground I walk on," I'd rather try to keep the blood off the ground you walk on.  Some folks would tell you that the best way to stop the blood flow would be to break off your relationship with you girlfriend.  They are dead wrong (no pun intended).  Nothing makes a violent girlfriend more violent than the prospect of being abandoned and/or rejected.  Most suffer from what is known as a Borderline Personality Disorder.  At the core of such a disorder is fear of abandonment and rejection.  Her rage is fueled by these fears.  You probably will need to break up with her, but you must not do it abruptly, or, on your own, for that matter.  You must plan the break-up with the input of a psychologist that you're seeing on a regular basis.  You may not be seeing one now, but I would urge you to begin.  If you or your mother can't afford a psychologist, start with the student counseling center at your college/and/or university.   Ask if they have an affordable psychologist, or an intern (supervised by a licensed psychologist) who will see you.  They may want to eventually have you bring your girlfriend with you, but it's important that, at least in the beginning, you are seen alone.  Getting out of a violent relationship in which you are the victim is complicated and potentially dangerous.  But it can be done with the input of an expert. 

There are a lot of issues you will need to explore with your psychologist or psychology intern.  What attracted you to a violent young woman?  What issues surrounding violence, control, and fear of abandonment do you struggle with?  What keeps you caught up in a cycle of abuse, as the apparent victim?   In addition to seeing a shrink, surround yourself with positive people, who are not victims or perpetrators of violence. 

Without bringing Christ into the picture, that's about all I can tell you.  Christ means everything to me.  He is the source of all truth and the fuel that keeps me going as a singer/songwriter, and as a psychologist.  What am I doing?  I promised not to bring Christ into it.  I lied.  I'm sorry, but, when it comes to Christ, I have a hard time keeping my joy to myself.  I'll stop now.  Best wishes with regard to your musical career.  I hope you continue to find therapy in your musical expression, but I also hope you will find meaning in the music, and be able to convey meaning to others.  Please let me know how it goes with finding a psychologist.  Then, once the therapy has begun, please keep me posted on the progress. 

Dr. BLT 
The Rock Doc 

If you're a musician in distress, or the parent(s) of one, email Dr. BLT at: 

Dr. BLT, aka Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, is a Christ-centered licensed clinical psychologist and university instructor who specializes in the psychology of modern music.  He uses his original songs as well as those of other artists to address the problems of his patients, including his biggest, sickest, most challenging patient--society.

His face and name recognition, particularly with teens, comes from his short part on a long Cake music video--the Cake video for “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” that earned the band a nomination for Ground Breaking Music Video of the Year on the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. 



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