To start with, I do not intend for this idea to replace seeing a therapist when you have a mental health issue. I do not believe that anything, no matter how well-intentioned, can have an effect as good as what you will get when you see a therapist.
That being said, therapy is expensive. Very expensive, infact. As a result, unless in extreme cases, I believe that self-therapy is the way to go for most of us. And that is why I came up with this idea.
Lagos, Nigeria is the second most stressful city in the world, according to a study by Vaay, a Germany-based firm. This city also happens to be the economical capital of Nigeria and its most populous city, which means most people experience it at one point or the other.
When I worked here, it was a never ending cycle of frustration and stress. Unlike Lagos-born people, it was my first time experiencing the madness of the city. However, I had to learn to cope or I was going to lose my sanity.
I listened to music, went for walks, learned meditation, go to vast fields to scream my lungs out, and punched my pillow and similar items.
By the way, while researching into forms of self-therapy, I came across primal therapy. I recognized that I had done something similar before: punching objects and screaming. I didn't know it was an acceptable form of therapy before that research (not widely accepted, mind you), but I knew it helped me.
Maybe I would have talked to a therapist, but a session would have cost about one-fifth of my salary at the time. You read that right - one therapy session would have cost a whopping 1/5 of my monthly salary.
While I was able to find coping mechanisms for my stress and frustration, it wasn't always convenient.
That got me thinking, what can be done to make self-therapy more accessible and more convenient for people who need it?
Create self-therapy rooms and charge people a fee to use them. These rooms should be private. They should also be equipped with different items for people to pursue different forms of self-therapy.
For example, if you want to scream to meditate and you don't want to alarm your neighbours and family members who would probably run down to find out what is wrong, there should soundproofed rooms for that purpose.
The same applies if you need to punch something to relieve pressure: there should be rooms with disposable or indestructible items for this purpose.
And if what you need is a quiet space for meditation, these "Therapy Rooms" will work for that, too.
I imagine it will be an hybrid model where people can pay everytime they use the rooms or do a subscription.
The rooms should be optimized for the appropriate sounds and lighting that will help people get the best out of their self-therapy sessions. Also, it should have an array of audios that can guide people through their therapy sessions, regardless of the form they choose.
Finally, the company in charge of the rooms can provide therapists users can consult with on specific days of the week. This can be a perk of subscribing. The therapists can decide whether the self-help therapy they are engaging is sufficient or if whether they need to see a professional. They can also provide guidance to the users on how to take better care of their mental health.
I believe something of this nature can help more people lead better lives as they will have a low-cost method of caring for their mental health.