April 11, 2002 11:07 AM   Subscribe

TheraDate "We stack the deck in your favor—like no one ever has—to help you find the right life partner....TheraDateSM requires its members to currently be in psychotherapy for at least two months or discharged from therapy for no longer than two years."

A new service whereby shrinks play matchmaker for their clients. Blurs the therapist/patient relationship a bit, it would seem. With so many more people in NYC seeing shrinks since 9/11, business should be booming. There's also an article about it in the current issue of the New York Observer. When the going gets weird...
posted by martk (15 comments total)
The Observer article can be found here.

As to the whole concept of shrinks doing "Hello Dolly" services...that's just wrong. It elminates patient/doctor confidentiality...which could impact the legal system. It destroys the trust and openness that a patient must have if they are really seeking some sort of psychological help. It turns patients into more of a profit center than they already are and reduces them to a commodity that can be 'sold' to other patients.

No sir, don't like it. Don't like it a bit.
posted by dejah420 at 11:22 AM on April 11, 2002

On the other hand, I'd have a much easier time scoring those nymphomaniacs that like to be all coy in the outside world.
Sickness. Pishaw.
posted by dong_resin at 11:38 AM on April 11, 2002

"When you meet someone and you're attracted to them, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as chemistry is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match." -- Sleepless in Seattle

In theory, it'd work -- who better to match neuroses than one's therapist? -- but in the non-romantic movie real world, it's just dumb.
posted by me3dia at 11:42 AM on April 11, 2002

And here’s the function TheraDate performs: Your shrink reveals the cold, ugly truth about you to other shrinks...

I'm sure they do this already. o<

I agree with dejah420 (are there 419 other dejahs??) but to be fair, patients are already profict centers for therapists and especially psychotherapists (which requires a massive commitment and number of dollars not available for most to sacrifice). I don't see why this is too bad beyond the most obvious reasons, but then again, patients more or less what their getting into, and to betray the trust of patient could cost a therapist more than anything else.

A better service can be provided by experienced people who know the client, who won't coddle them, who know what they're doing, than can be provided by some young marketing jism with a "What is your personality type" self help book borrowed from their crazy sister's bookshelf and some spineless idiot friend who knows SQL.
posted by Settle at 11:43 AM on April 11, 2002

I'm not really sure being in psychotherapy is really an indicator of mental stablity and good relationship "stuff". Arn't most people in therapy because they are fucked up?
posted by delmoi at 11:48 AM on April 11, 2002

delmoi - That used to be the case, but from now on people who are dateless will be getting into therapy to meet their "lifemate." Psycho-pimp, anyone?
posted by martk at 11:52 AM on April 11, 2002

Gee delmoi, tell us what you really think!!?

Most people are in psychotherapy because they're taking responsibility for their shit and trying to change the stuff that isn't working for them or for others. We all have varying degrees of this stuff, it's just that some people decide to try and take care of it on their own (some successfully, some not so much), and others choose to get some professional assistance with it.

It's like when you have a leak in your home's plumbing. You can DIY and maybe be successful in stopping the leak (or maybe not). Or you can call a plumber to help you fix it.
posted by docjohn at 12:11 PM on April 11, 2002

No, I've been to therapy, and delmoi was right, those people are a mess.

But not me. Them.
posted by dong_resin at 12:23 PM on April 11, 2002

This here sounds like a Joey Skaggs hoax to me.
posted by Domain Master 666 at 1:25 PM on April 11, 2002

Personal advice for all those wary of psychologists:
I was in therapy until I decided that an amphetamine prescription was the answer. It was...

If you were to write down all your problems, and be completely honest with yourself, to the extent that one can (which is not totally), you will find that most of these phreases can be reformulated as descriptive statements of the form "I am too lazy to _______". In most cases, a bunch of stimulants can solve these problems, which can range from getting up in the morning to being kinder, less shy, more ambitious, more assertive etc. NYorkers just need to discover the medical miracle Hitler managed to keep under wraps....until now!! (CG Animation of lightning bolt / pills breaking through chains synched to theme from Wagners "Thus Spake Zarathustra") (Yes, I am avoiding homework)
posted by Settle at 1:27 PM on April 11, 2002

Hmmmm....."Dong Resin"

Wasn't that the nickname one of Freud's colleagues gave Egon Schiele? Or was it that Egon Schiele's obsessive hand scraping/washing was used to characterize the symptoms of a newly discovered phobia involving dong resin?
posted by Settle at 1:34 PM on April 11, 2002

It's like when you have a leak in your home's plumbing. You can DIY and maybe be successful in stopping the leak (or maybe not). Or you can call a plumber to help you fix it.

Or you can call PlumaDate™

You are free to discuss with your plumber all aspects of this, the most sensible pipe-fitting service ever......
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:00 PM on April 11, 2002

It's like when you have a leak in your home's plumbing. You can DIY and maybe be successful in stopping the leak (or maybe not).

Yes. you call the plumber because your plumbing is fucked up you go to the psychologist when your mind is fucked up. Not to disparage people in therapy, I mean there are all kinds of gradients and that kind of thing.

Taking the plumbing thing a bit farther, say your drain is clogged, or your toilet is stopped up. Some of us would at least try the drano or a plunger before calling a professional. I suppose some very rich people might not, and that's generaly the impression I get of people in therapy.

Nurotic people with to much money, and people with real psychological problems who really do need help.

But. Nither one of those classes of people in my mind would match up with my ideal 'life partner'
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on April 11, 2002

possibly on thread:
recently i watched a series called 'the century of the self', which covered the rise and rise of fruedian analysis in american society following ww2.
the most analysed society on earth, i reccon.

Sigmund Freud's American nephew, Edward Bernays (has alot to answer for):

'Bernays invented the profession of public relations in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass produced goods to their unconscious desires. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to the eroticisation of the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was to break the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.'

NB. Bernays also introduced the idea (propaganda) that capitalist consumer societies are democratic by nature. He, of course, did not belive this, as he thought people incapable of being responsible members of a democracy (they are all ruled by the id, don't y'know?).
posted by asok at 2:44 PM on April 11, 2002

"and people with real psychological problems who really do need help"

To my ear, this creates an unwarranted dichotomy. Many people go to psychotherapy to resolve problems that don't blatantly interfere with normal functioning; the phrase "real problems" implies something severe or pervasive. People with smaller-scale problems might not really *need* professional help but benefit from it, and may be able to resolve the issues more completely and faster than battling through it alone.

Knowing that someone is dealing constructively with their problems is a prerequisite for a life partner IMO, regardless of how they're doing it.

I can see how a therapist might be in a unique position to see compatibility between patients, but I'm not sure how feasible it is to build a system that carries that ability beyond the single mind, to the professional community.
posted by maniabug at 9:48 PM on April 11, 2002

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