Abstract In the film What about Bob, the movie starts off with Bob Willey sitting in bed telling himself “I feel great, I feel good, and I feel wonderful. ” Without these words of encouragement he wouldn’t make it through day. Bob Wiley is quite the interesting character; he suffers from so many disorders. First he is faced with ongoing anxiety issues throughout the movie. Anxiety disorder is when a “person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal,” which describes Bob’s character perfectly. He has a difficult time leaving his house, riding the elevator and performing simple tasks.
However, many of his anxiety symptoms are caused from his multitude of phobias. Because he is afraid of so many things, he is constantly in a state of panic and anxiety. Analysis of Characters and Theories What about Bob focuses on the relationship between Bob Wiley and his Psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin. Bob Wiley suffers from so many disorders, he has “multi-phobic personality characterized by acute separation anxiety. ” And Dr. Marvin is a successful, composed, professional therapist that is at the top of his game and feels ready to take on any patient so he decides to take Bob as his patient after a colleague recommends him.
Bob instantly becomes attached to Marvin and goes to extreme measures to be near him, for example when he faked suicide on the phone when he couldn’t get ahold of Dr. Marvin. Dr. Marvin quickly realizes, however, that Bob has immense dependency issues which eventually lead to deathly tensions between the two. The epitome of Bob’s attachment is demonstrated when he goes so far as to find the address of Marvin’s vacation spot and consequently follow him there and proceed to make his life miserable. Physical traits Bob Wiley suffers from agoraphobia, anxiety, and obsessive- compulsive disorder.
He usually doesn’t leave his apartment unless he has too like when he has to go to his appointment with Dr. Marvin. When he does leave his apartment, he can’t leave his house without having a barrier between him and the door because he has a fear of germs. He also fear of elevators, and fear of sleeping unless pointed in the proper direction according to a compass along with more serious issues such as anxiety disorders and specific phobias. Dr. Marvin tells him to just take small steps. Soon enough Bob is able to get on the elevator, and even get on a bus.
Bob who always has to have some type of barrier between him and the door eventually throws it away. In the movie they never show Bob having any close relatives, so he also suffers from separation anxiety, he watches “The Brady Bunch” to fill that lack of companionship. That’s why he gets so attached to Dr. Marvin. Bob finds out that Dr. Marvin is going on vacation with his family and Bob’s anxiety gets the best of him and decides to follow Dr. Marvin on vacation. Dr. Leo Marvin is a very successful Psychologist but he tends to bring his work home. Dr. Marvin is narcissistic, for example when Dr.
Marvin grabs a book off the bookshelf you notice that the books in his office are all bright neon yellow to capture people’s attention and to show is true personality. When the Marvin family goes on vacation, Dr. Marvin’s controlling side comes out. He treats his family like patients, for example like when he uses play therapy using puppets to communicate with them. He cares a lot about his image and wants his family to be supportive. Dr. Marvin and Bob both strive to fit in. Dr. Marvin wants to be seen as the successful and influential psychologist, and Bob just wants to accept into the Marvin family.
These two men both strive on human companionship. However, Dr. Marvin wants to be successful, and Bob just wants a family. Ethnical Boundaries During the course of the movie there are boundaries broken like when Bob tracked down Dr. Marvin to his vacation house. Dr. Marvin tried to get rid of Bob by explaining to him that relationships with patients should be kept strictly business, but the family persuaded Dr. Marvin to let Bob stay one night. Dr. Marvin knew that it could ruin his career.
Dr. Marvin also breaks ethnical boundaries when he refers Bob to a psychiatric hospital where the head Doctor releases him stating that there is no evidence of psychosis. This sends Dr. Martin over the edge because he does not have any support from his family or professionals and he attempts to kill Bob, this comes to another severe breakage of ethnical boundaries. Dr. Marvin broke a lot of ethical boundaries when he hit his breaking point and attacked Bob at the surprise birthday party. Then he ties Bob up and puts bags of bombs around his head. Dr. Marvin tells Bob that it’s a new type of treatment. By doing this Dr. Marvin not only broke Bob’s trust but he also almost committed a crime.
Luckily Bob was able to get out of the trap. Theological Perspective In this movie Fraud is a big influence in this movie, that’s why Dr. Marvin’s children are named Anna, and Siggy. Freud’s Freudian concept is a big concept in this movie, One of the effects of his disorders is that Bob is very needy; he would always would plead to Dr. Marvin to let him stay. Bob characteristics throughout the movie is called id. In the beginning of the movie Bob is sitting in bed telling himself “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful” that is called cognitive perspective. Bob has to encourage himself to get out of bed and go out.
Therapeutic Techniques The first meeting between the two characters was very client- centered. The men sit down, and Bob starts talking about his problems. Dr. Marvin lets him go on, and ask questions in between. Then Dr. Marvin gives Bob his book called baby steps which helps Bob get a little more confident, which helps Bob overcome his phobias throughout the movie. Summery In conclusion, What About Bob? Is a very comical film that effectively pokes fun at the world of therapy and disorders by exaggerating the effects they can have on a person’s life. One of the most profound lessons learned in this movie is the domino effect of causality.
The choices are progressive and closely intertwined with the outcome of the situation. Despite Bob’s idiosyncratic behavior, the ideal solution would have been to utilize general ethical principles of psychologist. Psychologist must adhere to the rules, which means the philosophical approach to the ethical standards of psychologist is utilitarian in nature and teleological in moral practice. Dr. Martin’s character had an egoistic personality, that is, his focus was his own self-interest. This presents a conflict of interest because the psychologist personal moral beliefs contradict the ethical principles of the profession.