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National Shrink Day – September 5, 2024

People around the U.S. celebrate National Shrink Day each year on September 5 and the special bond we have come to develop with our psychiatrists and therapists. The day reminds us of the contribution therapists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychologists make to our society. These caring individuals play a meaningful role in our communities, making them deserving of praise. The holiday was created as an homage to Bob Newhart, who played a psychiatrist on the T.V. series “The Bob Newhart Show.”

History of National Shrink Day

Considering the principal role that psychologists and psychiatrists play in our daily lives, it is surprising to learn that these developments are relatively recent. Although ancient societies were interested in the philosophical study of psychology and human emotions, this was far from the specialized academic discipline that psychological studies constitute today. For example, in Ancient Egypt, scholars attempted to study mental disorders.

The earliest examples of academic psychological study can be traced back to the 19th century. Gustav Fechner and Wilhelm Wundt, German scientists and philosophers, developed the earliest systematic studies of the human psyche and established the first psychological research laboratory. The late 1800s saw a growing interest in psychology. During this period, Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist, began developing the earliest frameworks for psychoanalysis. His research later influenced the advent of speech-based therapy, which is widely applied today.

Throughout the 20th century, psychology, as a field, developed immensely, giving birth to several new specialties. Behavioral research particularly became an increasingly studied subject, with several grants across the U.S. dedicated to this form of study. It was also around the earliest decades of the 20th century that psychology became an officially recognized academic discipline, with dedicated university courses and degrees.

From the second half of the 20th century onwards, psychological and psychiatric practices became increasingly popular. Eventually, psychology and related disciplines become part of general medicine, with dedicated programs in schools, the military, and several governmental and private institutions. Attention to mental health is now quite important in our daily lives, which attests to the significance of a psychologist’s work.

National Shrink Day timeline

The First Theory

Gustav Fechner, a German psychologist, and philosopher, is credited with developing the first theory about human experience and behavior.

First Psychological Clinic

The first psychological clinic is founded by Lightner Witmer at the University of Pennsylvania.

Genevan School

Jean Piaget and Edouard Claparede move to the Rousseau Institute and establish the Genevan School.

National Institute of Mental Health

President John F. Kennedy delegates the National Institute of Mental Health to establish community mental health care in local and regional centers.

National Shrink Day FAQs

How many types of shrinks are there?

This depends on the number of specialties within the field of psychology. As of now, there are a handful of fields of expertise from psychotherapy, to clinical psychology and psychiatry.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist?

A psychologist’s job is to study psychological conditions and offer solutions and therapy, whereas psychiatrists prescribe drugs as part of therapy to deal with underlying issues and mental diseases.

Can shrinks practice in contexts other than clinical?

Many psychology practitioners specialize in more social types of work. For example, marriage counselors are trained in issues relating to couples. Some work-related psychologists practice in company offices.

How to Observe National Shrink Day

  1. Binge a T.V. series

    Relax and spend the day watching related T.V. shows such as "The Sopranos," which delves into the subject of mental illness and therapy, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," or the man in question, "The Bob Newhart Show."

  2. Read about the subject

    Psychological studies extend into numerous branches and include several specialties. Reading about the history and specifics of this academic field will expand your worldview, and make you appreciate the work of your shrink even more.

  3. Organize or attend events

    During this special observance, there are many associations, community groups, or institutions that would organize events and initiatives. Check on those, and try to help in any way you can.

5 Interesting Facts About The Brain

  1. The brain is a storage bin

    The human brain is very powerful, and according to many studies, can hold about 2.5 million gigabytes of information.

  2. Early development

    The base of the nervous system forms just a couple of weeks after conception, beginning as the neural plate and finally the brain.

  3. Memory and emotion

    We remember some memories more vividly than others because emotional reactions prioritize memories.

  4. Emotions and the brain

    Emotions are largely responsible for changes in our brains, as they are prompted by hormones and chemical reactions which can transform our brains physically.

  5. It’s a mystery

    Despite the achievements of neurology and psychological studies during the last few decades, the human brain is still a mystery to us.

Why National Shrink Day is Important

  1. It’s one of the most important jobs

    Some of the most urgent issues we face in our lives are related to mental health, especially today. As the world develops and becomes more demanding, shrinks help us become more mentally resistant, which is vital.

  2. Mental health is increasingly significant

    We are certainly more aware of the implications of mental health issues today. As guardians of our mental health, shrinks play a significant role.

  3. It's a time to say thank you

    National Shrink Day is an opportunity to show appreciation for one of the most important professions. It's a time to show gratitude and to pay tribute.

National Shrink Day dates

2024September 5Thursday
2025September 5Friday
2026September 5Saturday
2027September 5Sunday
2028September 5Tuesday

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