LOL! That's my first response. Bring it on! That's my second. "If only." That's my third response.

There's an article in last week's Science section of the NY Times entitled: "Feeling Anxious? Soon There Will Be An App For That." That's right. That's what it's about, according to the author of the piece, Benedict Carey, "therapy apps, in effect, that may soon make psychological help accessible anytime, anywhere, whether in the grocery store line, on the bus or just before a work presentation."

Well, all I can say - besides "LOL," "Bring it on," and "If only" - is that I have been looking for a short cut around the painstaking process of psychotherapy for three decades. In that search, I have studied and/or practiced psychoanalytic treatment modalities, object relations theory, paradoxical therapy, Jungian analysis, behavioral-cognitive therapies, Gestalt, Primal Scream, Bioenergetics, Core Energetics, hypnosis, past life regression, channeling, Alexander and rebirthing techniques, herbal cleanses, acupuncture, shiatsu, Reiki and Full Permission Living, all in an effort to put myself out of business, which is how I see being successful as a therapist.

As a result of those efforts, which have required more than anything else that I subject myself to all of the above processes, I have been able to help some people go deeper into themselves and experience profound shifts and healings in their personalities, and to achieve such shifts and healings at an accelerated rate, but we're still talking years. And years of whatever-it-takes determination on the part of the patient and therapist. And a crucial part of the process has always been the therapeutic relationship, the actual partnership, person to person, between therapist and patient, rolling up their sleeves and going into the netherlands of our psyches and emotional lives.

An app for therapy?

Well, here's Dr. Andrew J. Gerber, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, quoted in the Times piece on the prospect of a therapy icon next to Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja:

“We are built as human beings to figure out our place in the world, to construct a narrative in the context of a relationship that gives meaning to our lives. I would be wary of treatments that don’t allow for that.”

I couldn't agree with you more, Dr. Gerber.

[Footnote: I didn't mention psychopharmacology or psychosurgery as treatment methods I've tried because I don't consider modern psychiatry to be in the business of helping people or providing actual healing treatments.]

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