Perry Lyman
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Quotes for
Perry Lyman (Character)
from Thumbsucker (2005)

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Thumbsucker (2005)
[from trailer]
Dr. Perry Lyman: There's only so much I can do with traditional orthodontics. Justin, are you ready to let go of your thumb?
Justin Cobb: Why are you talking like that?

[from trailer]
Dr. Perry Lyman: I want to try hypnosis. Imagine you're deep in the forest. Call on your power animal.
Justin Cobb: Come here!
Dr. Perry Lyman: [pause] Do it in your mind.

Dr. Perry Lyman: I stopped trying to be anything. I accepted myself in all my human disorder. You might wanna do the same.

[Justin see's Dr. Perry for the last time in his new office before leaving off to college]
Justin Cobb: What happened?
Dr. Perry Lyman: What do you mean?
Justin Cobb: This place. It looks a little depressing.
Dr. Perry Lyman: I don't know, I... I guess I stopped trying to be anything. I accepted myself and all my human disorder. You might wanna do the same. Do you remember when you were like, 13 or something, you were... You were always doing an impression of a newsman.
Justin Cobb: [chuckles] I did?
Dr. Perry Lyman: You were quite good.
Justin Cobb: Sorry.
Dr. Perry Lyman: If that's what you want to do, New York is the perfect place for you. Make the contacts, knock on doors.
[Dr. Perry lights a cigarette]
Dr. Perry Lyman: Get the right haircut, take voice lessons. Might work. Then again. You'll have to deal with a lot of fear.
Justin Cobb: I just came here for a checkup.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Really? Justin, I'm sorry if I contributed to any feelings of shame you may have about your thumb. I've been reading up on it. Medically, psychologically, there's nothing really wrong with thumb sucking.
Justin Cobb: I don't think I can agree with that.
Dr. Perry Lyman: No, really. Look. Justin... there was nothing wrong with you.
Justin Cobb: It felt like everything was wrong with me.
Dr. Perry Lyman: That's 'cause we all wanna be problemless. To fix ourselves. We look for some magic solution to make us all better, but none of us really know what we're doing. And why is that so bad? That's all we humans can do. Guess. Try. Hope. But, Justin, just pray you don't fool yourself into thinking you've got the answer. Because that's bullshit. The trick is living without an answer. I think.
[both chuckle and laugh]
Dr. Perry Lyman: [Dr. Perry chuckles and lights another cigarette] I think.

[Justin lays back in the chair of his dentist who suggests a way to help him stop his thumb sucking condition]
Dr. Perry Lyman: It's time we were honest with each other.
Justin Cobb: Yeah?
Dr. Perry Lyman: I don't wanna fix your teeth all over again. It's time to confront the underlying issue.
Justin Cobb: What do you mean?
Dr. Perry Lyman: I know what your problem is. It's an understandable habit. In fact, what's strange is that people ever quit. It's nature's substitute for your mother's breast. How were you fed as a baby? From a bottle?
Justin Cobb: I can't remember.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Any tension at home? Anxiety? Any bad memories?
[Justin has a flashback of playing little league and missing the catch of a high fly ball]
Justin Cobb: No conscious ones.
Dr. Perry Lyman: We never remember the big ones anyways. Some dumb babysitter holds your mouth shut so she can watch soap operas in peace. At 40 you wonder why you can't stay married. There's only so much I can do with traditional orthodontics. Justin. Justin. Are you ready to let go of your thumb?
Justin Cobb: Why are you talking like that?
Dr. Perry Lyman: Answer my question.
Justin Cobb: What are you gonna do?
Dr. Perry Lyman: I wanna try hypnosis.
Justin Cobb: [Justin smiles wanting to laugh] No way.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Yeah. Really, I've seen it do wonders. Just try and relax. The more relaxed you are, the deeper we can go. Focus on the moon in the painting.
[Dr. Perry points to the painting behind him on the wall of his office]
Dr. Perry Lyman: [Dr. Perry turns out his office lights and lights a candle] Sense of peace... like a white light... fills your body. Imagine the white light... filling your feet... and your legs. Then your torso. Then your head. Imagine you're on a path. You're deep in the forest. A shaft of light illuminates a wild animal.
[Justin see's the image of a male deer with antlers]
Dr. Perry Lyman: This is your power animal. See it. Study it. When you feel like sucking your thumb, I want you to call on your power animal. Call it now.
Justin Cobb: [Justin whimpers out loud] Come here.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Do it in your mind. Whenever you feel afraid, alone, call on your power animal. You're not alone. You're not afraid. You don't need your thumb. And your thumb doesn't need you.
[Justin wakes up]
Dr. Perry Lyman: Justin, from now on, your thumb will taste like Echinacea.
Justin Cobb: [Justin asks before leaving Mr. Perry's office] What's your power animal?
Dr. Perry Lyman: That's personal.

[Justin lays back in the dentist chair talking to Dr. Perry]
Dr. Perry Lyman: Justin, do they teach you about the subconscious at school?
Justin Cobb: A little.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Ever heard of subconscious pressure? Involuntary behaviors?
Justin Cobb: Like a serial killer.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Perhaps. Justin, all of us carry a certain weight. A weight we don't recognize. Some of us have heavy loads.
Justin Cobb: In our minds.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Yeah. A force from inside. We don't know it's name but it makes us do things. Things we don't like to admit.

[Justin calls Dr. Perry asking him to take back the hypnosis he still feels under]
Justin Cobb: Perry. It worked.
Dr. Perry Lyman: That's wonderful.
Justin Cobb: No, I - I didn't think it would be like this. Can you put it back? or something?
Dr. Perry Lyman: Your subconscious has taken its course.
Justin Cobb: Please, I really feel crazy.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Stick with it, Justin. Call on your power animal for help.
[Justin looks at the phone confused and hangs up]