According to several studies, when the economy goes bad the demand for psychiatrist increases. It’s anecdotal, but I have seen this in my practice as well. The demand for psychiatric concepts in the surfing world, however, is nil. Yet I go about this anyway, with an audience of a few.
The term shrink came about in the 50’s and 60’s during psychodynamic (Freudian) psychiatry’s heyday. The comparison was made between psychiatrists and headshrinkers – tribal members who shrunk the heads of their enemies after they killed them. You could say it is a derogatory term, implying that psychiatrists “screw with your head”. But in this context, it is more a desire to break surf psychology down into component, understandable parts.
The Surfshrink attempts to bridge a scientific, medical background with experiential knowledge of surfing. Essays cover psychological aspects of surfing and surf culture. Some essays may be a bit technical or require coffee, but this is not the goal. We aspire for a better understanding of our selves, our culture, and interpersonal dynamics.