Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shrink n.1

[head-shrinker ]

1. (orig. US, also shrinker) a psychoanalyst, a psychiatrist.

[US]J.D. Macdonald Slam the Big Door (1961) 131: ‘You need that shrinker.’ ‘Anybody that doesn’t agree with you is sick?’.
D. Powell Golden Spur (1991) 258: Does this shrinker know there are a lot of other images in his old simple case?
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 86: Might run into a patient. We shrinks can’t be too careful.
[US]J. Blake letter 10 Nov. in Joint (1972) 236: They have two shrinks for every convict.
[US]N. Spinrad Bug Jack Barron 29: Why can’t he puke his being and nothingness on some shrink?
[US]R. Stone Dog Soldiers (1976) 245: They’d take me down to the shrink and he’d try to piss me off.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 73: Where do all the Park Avenue people go to get their head straightened out [...] They go to the shrink, right?
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 66: My probation officer and my shrink have been helping me out a lot.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 42: The shrink said I was a socialist or sumptin.
[UK]Guardian G2 2 Aug. 5: The term ‘head shrinker’. Now shortened to ‘shrink’ [...].
[US]Eminem ‘Kill You’ [lyrics] And the way things seem, I shouldn’t have to pay these shrinks / this eighty G’s a week to say the same things.
[US]K. Huff A Steady Rain I iii: You’re obsessed, Mr. Big-Bad, see a shrink, little couch time, get over it?
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] If he wants a shrink there’s this bloke Bertrand saw when he went sad after that Croat cunt stabbed him.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 195: I spotted the prison shrink in the staff cafeteria.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 70: ‘My mum is a psychologist’ [...] ‘Blinking shrinks!’ .

2. (also shrinking) psychoanalysis.

[US]J. McNamara First Directive (1985) 156: I hoped she was off the shrink kick. [Ibid.] 157: I can’t take any more shrinking tonight.

In derivatives

shrinkette (n.)

a female psychoanalyst or psychiatrist.

[US]L. Kramer Faggots 277: That’s what my dyke shrinkette said.
shrinksville (n.) [-ville sfx1 ]

(orig. US) madness; spec. a state of mind that makes it advisable for a person so afflicted to consult a psychoanalyst.

Miranda Mars Laura’s Story Ch. 213 [Internet] Laura took her arm and steered her toward the door. ‘Jane is a little . . . unbalanced,’ she lied evenly. ‘She’s in therapy. You know, shrinksville? She sometimes has delusions, poor thing.’.

In compounds

shrink klink (n.) [clink n.1 ]

(Aus.) a psychiatric institution.

[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 51: A psychiatric hospital is a ‘shrink klink’, ‘giggle bin’, ‘nut factory’ or ‘peanut factory’.

In phrases

head-shrinker (n.) (also headshrink)

1. (orig. US) a psychoanalyst, a psychotherapist, a psychiatrist.

[US]J. Stearn Sisters of the Night 7: Talk to the [...] social workers, the cops, the headshrinkers.
[US]Mad mag. June 45: Dr Joyce Brothers is one of the best-looking headshrinkers we’ve seen in many a day.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 201: I beat a hasty retreat [...] before I became in need of a headshrinker.
[Aus]M. Harris Angry Eye 146: The traumatic change [...] provides revealing diagnostic material for any head-shrinker worth an ounce of analytical civet.
[UK]J. Healy Grass Arena (1990) 105: We saw the head-shrinker at Brixton Prison. No need to act. He put us down as chronic alkies.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] [Y]our average well-meaning [...] expensively dressed head-shrinker.
[UK]Guardian Guide 5–12 June 77: Newly-arrived head shrink at the Psycho-Neurotic Institute.
[UK]Guardian G2 2 Aug. 5: The term ‘head shrinker’. Now shortened to ‘shrink’, [...] designates the crew of Freudian psychoanalysts for whom ‘proper’ doctors have an inextinguishable contempt.
[US]Mad mag. July 37: When the kid goes on a rampage one day, we blame the headshrinker.
[UK]T. Black Gutted 94: I looked at the card. ‘Mac, this is a head-shrinker.’ ‘No. Therapist — different’.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 1: I’m not like a lot of the gooks here making with this head shrinker talk.
[US]C. Bukowski Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1973) 61: And soon we will have the reports from the headshrinker panels.

3. a session of psychoanalysis.

[US]J. McNamara First Directive (1985) 163: I don’t have suckers to squeeze at seventy-five dollars a throw for a head shrink.
shrink someone’s head (v.)

(orig. US) to psychoanalyse.

[US]Laurents & Sondheim West Side Story II i: In my opinion, this child don’t need to have his head shrunk at all. Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease!
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 61: They’d make with the cracks. You know, getting your head shrunk, all the crap.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]J. McNamara First Directive (1985) 145: Why don’t they quit their crummy jobs [...] and get sane so they won’t need their heads shrunk?