Why Is a Psychologist Called a Shrink?


The reason why a psychologist is sometimes called a shrink is said to be due to the phrase having been coined by the author Thomas Pynchon. He used it in his book The Crying of Lot 49, which was published in 1966. It is thought the word came from the term for a psychologist, headshrinker. This came about from the primitive tribal practice of shrinking the head of an enemy. Also, some people experience the feeling of their brain seeming like it is swollen when they are badly depressed, which may have been part of the history of the word usage.
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