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What About Bob

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Psychological Analysis of What About Bob
Danyel Samuel

The movie “What About Bob” follows the story of the two main protagonists Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Richard Dreyfuss), and Bob Wiley (played by Bill Murray). Throughtout the movie, these two display a number of psychological related problems. After Bob successfully tracked down where Mr. Leo Marvin lived, he then journeyed there because he felt safer near Dr. Marvin. During Bob's stay, Dr. Marvin becomes increasingly hostile and angry, while Bob continues to show improvement.

Psychological Analysis of What About Bob
The movie “What About Bob” is based on a psychiatrist named Dr. Leo Marvin and his new patient named Bob Wiley. During the progression of this movie, both of the protagonists began to become different, displaying changes in personality, behaviors, and roles. Behaviors Displayed

From the start of the movie, Dr. Marvin showed signs of being very self-centered. Bob showed signs of having Mysophobia, which is a fear of germs. This is displayed when he goes to open the door, he does so by using a tissue to touch the knob. Also, he seems to have a generalized anxiety disorder, being that starts to be really tense when in public around other strangers(Myers, 2010). When in public, he displayed a state of being nervous. While walking to Dr. Marvins office, he started to chant “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful”. This is probably caused by having Social Phobia, which is a social phobia disorder. People with this phobia tend to stay away from the outside world and be alone(NIHM, 2014). This could explain why Bob prefers to work at home. Also, he doesn't seem to have any friends. Other than his fish, and his doctors, he doesn't communicate with anyone. When he arrived at the building where Dr. Marvin's office resides, he was told to head to the 44th floor using the elevator. As he was about to get on the elevator, he started cringing and while moving slowly and then decided to take the stairs. This action was caused by him having Claustrophobia, which is being afraid of being closed into a tight space for even a short amount of time. When he finally met Dr . Marvin, he developed a transference towards him, which means he instantly developed a liking toward Dr. Marvin and figured he was able to help him. Dr. Marvin then gave Bob a copy of his book named “Baby Steps”, which displays a method of Systematic Desensitization, a behavioral therapy designed to completely cure someone of a phobia they might have. Then, when Dr. Marvin told Bob he would meet with him again, but only after he takes his vacation in which Bob would not be able to see him again for a month. Bob then displayed a case of separation anxiety. He manipulated Dr. Marvin's co-workers into giving him the address where Dr. Marvin was vacationing. When Marvin realized Bob found him, he immediately took Bob around the corner away from everyone else. This was because Marvin wanted to protect the confidentiality between client and doctor. During his time that he was spending with Marvin's family, I felt he had a sense of illusory correlation, which means he was perceiving a relationship he thought existed, but it never did(Jackson, 2000). Another illusory correlation that helped Bob the most, in my opinion, was when Dr. Marvin gave him a gift of being able to take a vacation from his problems. Even though this wasn't a real prescription, Bob still followed what Marvin said because he trusted him. He thought that Dr. Marvin was his friend and everything the doctor did was to help him, even when the doctor started to turn hostile towards him. Bob was progressing gradually and showing a sign of improvement. When he was getting into Dr. Marvin's car which was driven by his daughter at the time, he asked her “does anybody else use the car”. When she replied “just us”, he then proceeded to get into the passenger seat without wiping the handle of the car.... Show More

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