I started to comment on Dinah's post, entitled That's Entertainment???, about reality TV shows exploiting folks with mental illness, and my comment turned into this new post. I have come to the following reasoned conclusion. Ahem.
I am quite certain that at some point, soon, there will be a reality therapy show... more likely an internet video log, or vlog. You know, a webcam in your office, for the world to see what happens in therapy. "Bringing The Couch into your living room."
Every Tuesday evening from 7-7:50, for example, "Melissa" can be seen talking with her therapist (live). God forbid if she's late, as the shrink would then look into the cam, telling why he thinks she's acting out because of the interpretation he offered the previous week, and her troubles confronting authority figures... maybe even with video-snippets from prior sessions, driving home the point. I'm sure if you miss a session, or "show", you can download it to your iPod from iTunes, and watch it when *your* patient no-shows, all the while wishing that you could have a successful therapy vlog, like Dr. Pheel has.
Some patients will even develop their own following, like groupies, cheering their successes on, or jeering at the more narcissistic or annoying "clients". I suppose if there are advertising sponsors, then the therapy would be free for the patient, and the therapist would reap some financial benefit. Perhaps Google ads popping up on either side of the screen, at the mere mention of a product or service by the doctor or patient:
Toxic Waste Weight
Cleanse the waste "weight" and lose more pounds and inches.
|"Doc, ever since I started taking the Paxil, I've gained so much weight. And I've been constipated. It's really depressing."|
Constipation Gone Forever
Read about the #1 natural remedy for constipation. It works!
It would get people interested in therapy again, like in the 60's, but only more tricked-out and jazzed-up for the plugged-in generation. Who needs insurance? If your problems are interesting enough, or bizarre enough, all you need is a therapy sponsor. If you are willing to try out the latest pharmaceutical, the drug company may even sponsor your reality therapy vlog, though probably with a side contract stating that for a given sum of money you will not divulge any unpleasant reactions you might experience, such as a blue tint to your vision, spontaneous flatulence, or painful erections lasting longer than 4 hours or 10 inches.
Some day soon, this year or next, web-enabled therapeutic voyeurism -- dubbed PsychoTherapy 2.0 -- will become the biggest thing to hit Psychotherapy since Managed Care. Or Prozac.
Or even Freud.