Speed Psychiatry Suits Needs Of An Impatient Generation

August 27, 2013 Alistair McHarg

Analysis, also known as talk therapy, is slow, very slow. If it were any slower it would move backwards. In fact, I was in therapy on a weekly basis for a year and a half before I realized my psychiatrist didn’t speak English, and was gone the entire month of August.

If you dive right in and face your issues fearlessly, you’ll be able to get really serious about emotional growth after a five-year get acquainted period during which you and your psychiatrist engage in what Quakers commonly refer to as silence.

People occasionally make fun of psychiatry’s glacial pace, sometimes referred to as “slower than baseball” and “as exciting as farming”. But mirth, merriment, jibes and snarky remarks aside, therapy involves peeling away layer after layer of onionskin, chopping what’s left, and crying. It’s painful, depressing, and feels as if it will never end, like a TED Talk; but unlike a TED Talk, it’s worth the time and aggravation.

A recent survey by The American Association of Psychiatry shocked the psychoanalytic community with its assertion that today, most patients are giving up on analysis well before the 10-year mark, widely considered the point at which meaningful progress begins. In a recent press release, Association spokesman Meriwether Pinkerton shocked a large conference room full of middle-aged, bearded men smoking pipes by saying, “Today, information moves at the speed of something really fast. Technology has granted us instant gratification. Mentally ill healthcare consumers just don’t have the patience for talk therapy.

“Psychotropic drugs are convenient, covered by insurance, and certain to create psychological and physical dependence; ideal! However, they only mask symptoms, they don’t actually change root causes. So what about today’s whacko on the go who wants to explore talk therapy time-efficiently?

“Good news,” beamed Pinkerton, sweeping his arm grandly around the room, now noisy with the din of bearded men tapping spent pipes into ashtrays. “I am glad to introduce the new AAP sanctioned therapy we’re calling Speed Psychiatry. In Speed Psychiatry, patients and psychiatrists convene 90-second video conferences, greet one another, and enter into intense exchanges certain to spark the patient’s emotional growth.

“Here are just a few sanctioned phrases that psychiatrists can use to initiate an interaction.”

Get over it.

I blame your mother.

Did you know the human head weighs 10-11 pounds?

That is really messed up.

Do you have any problems that might make interesting articles?

Would you call your dreams unholy, disturbing, or shocking?

My career has been leading up to this.

Do you tell your friends the things you tell me? Do they cringe?

If I sound funny it’s because I’ve been filling balloons with helium.

My hearing aid battery is low. Do you know American Sign Language?

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2013, August 27). Speed Psychiatry Suits Needs Of An Impatient Generation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

August, 28 2013 at 6:38 am

Low hearing aid batteries are a norm in our house. I can always tell when my husband's get low. or when he is not wearing his hearing aids at all. His answers are pretty unrelated to what my question is. The answers are usually pretty funny. For example...Is the cat outside? No I don't know where your hat is. As for the super speedy psychoanalysis, phrases I've heard: "Do your ears hang low?" "Is that new sod on your lawn?" Patient questions I've heard are:" What do you mean there is a speed limit on our sessions?" "Is that your pipe in flames?" Anyways, enjoy the coming Labor Day festivities and try not to run out of time on your analysis sessions.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
August, 29 2013 at 8:29 am

Cindy: I didn't run out of time, I ran out of insurance - consequently I'm cured.

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