Freud must be shuddering in his grave, but that doesn't bother Susan Shapiro, the author of Speed Shrinking and the cheerful organizer of speed-dating-style therapy sessions for New Yorkers. On a recent evening, 200 talk-therapy-seekers stood in line at a lecture hall for their turn to spill their problems and get some quickie advice from each of eight therapists, at just 3 minutes a pop. "It's amazing what you can achieve in a short space of time," said one. It "makes something which can be intimidating fun," said Shapiro.
How well did it work? Jobless "patients" without health insurance were grateful for the free help, but the quality of the advice varied, noted a reporter from the Independent. Of course confidentiality vanishes in a room packed with elbow-to-elbow attention-seekers. "One lady sat down and announced at the top of her voice that she'd never had an orgasm," said one therapist. Another noted: "That's probably going to take more than three minutes to fix."