Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Speed Shrinking

Somehow, I missed this one. Thanks to Buggy for pointing it out!

What do you do when your shrink's away and you've got a crisis? Wait? Call coverage? A group of New Yorkers have set up their own speed shrinking networking service in bookstores and taverns.
From The NY Times, August 31, 2009, Vincent Mallozzi writes "Answers to Life's Worries, in 3 minutes Bursts."

Instead, Ms. Tang went to talk about her fears with a panel of eight psychiatrists and psychologists offering three-minute sessions of what was billed as “speed shrinking” to those whose regular therapists were on vacation or to anyone else needing a very fast dose of advice.

“At first glance, this appears to be a funny, lighthearted thing,” said one of the therapists, Jonathan Fast, who is also a professor at Yeshiva University. “But what I have discovered is that these brief conversations absolutely turn into real therapy. You start with the classic ‘What can I help you with?’ and make a really fast assessment.”

So this is not what I do. I have no super-rapid diagnostic skills and no magical wisdom worth imparting in 3 minutes. I thought they invented grandmothers for this stuff. And Mr. Mallozzi makes therapy sound a little too trite and a little too self-consumed for my liking. Psychiatrists are good at diagnosing and treating psychiatric illnesses, and some are good at psychotherapy. I don't think this conveys any level of expertise for life-decision advise for strangers. Ah, but this wasn't really one we'd pass by on Shrink Rap.