Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

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Pat Dodson
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Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:00 am

In a recent thread a forum member who was feeling down was advised to get to a pub or bar and there talk to a stranger as "talking helps".

A clinical psychologist in London is experimenting with providing free "therapy" booths where listening and counselling come from volunteer strangers (though there are trained therapists on hand for "more serious cases.")

The BBC's report is light touch and the project has yet to be evaluated. But it's interesting is it not?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazine-4 ... -in-public

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:10 am

Hmm, it might be touching a raw nerve if it resembled the Samaritans.
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Pat Dodson
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:47 am

I'm not sure Lucy from Peanuts is going to be pleased to be undercut in this way either.

Peskyendeavour
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Peskyendeavour » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:54 am

When I read the title of this thread I completely misunderstood it
...
Mainly because playing the guitar is my therapy and my guitar is no stranger to me of course!

Then reading the responses I wondered if my guitar would feel undercut like Lucy or Samaritans if I left her for the stranger therapy bar...

😅

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:45 pm

Wait. Isn't it disingenuous to have trained psychologists acting as random strangers ? This reminds me of bizarre exercises I had to do for a psychology class in college. We had to go to a shopping mall and engage random persons on false pretenses, then record and analyze their responses.

Thinking from the perspective of capitalism, it would be cheaper to actually use untrained personnel? Not only would that be cheaper, but it would tend to skew the "stranger phenomenon" much less. :D

But if simply listening to a person in need is your goal, here are some phrases you can use:
"Hmm..."
"Wow! I don't how I'd handle that."
"Tell me more."

Then, while nodding your head in affirmation:
- remain silent
- or say the ever famous one: "How does that make you feel?"
- or say "I'll back you up on that one."
- or agree and simultaneously build rapport by saying "Those rat bastards!"
Note: you may repeat the phrase "Those rat bastards" several times if you make it more emphatic with each iteration.

Many of you know I am a nurse educator in a prison hospital. The above is exactly what I teach my nurses! :D wink wink, nod nod
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Pat Dodson
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:05 pm

I'm not sure the trained psychologists pretended to be strangers (though I wouldn't put anything past them. My psychology degrees were full of trickery.) Rather I suspect (but don't know) that volunteer, stranger "therapists" and "clients" could refer on, with permission, if they felt out of their depth. Or that there was some kind of initial triage.

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:31 pm

I volunteered for a few years at a suicide prevention center. I did a lot of training beforehand, and they weeded out a few people along the way. I would imagine that random volunteers might quickly get out of their depth in this project. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to say the wrong thing to someone in a crisis. It's all fun until someone gets hurt.

But yes the responsible thing to do in this bad scenario is to have someone trained on hand. "I better call over my supervisor to deal with you" is already a poor intervention, though.
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Guitar-ded
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Re: Stranger Therapy Without Alcohol

Post by Guitar-ded » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:53 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:10 am
Hmm, it might be touching a raw nerve if it resembled the Samaritans.
This is pretty much how Samaritans started. A vicar was holding counseling sessions and when he came out from speaking to someone he found the waiting room empty. The folk who had been waiting had talked to each other and sorted themselves out.
I doubt they'd be upset. In fact they'd probably provide cards and such for anyone wanting to speak to them later.
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