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A Low-Cost Therapy Alternative

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Nov 29, 2021
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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.
The Background
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.
How did I do this?
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?
The Idea
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.
Creative contributions

Inspiration: destruction rooms for stress relief

jnikola Dec 01, 2021
In my city and, as I realized, on some other places in the world, there are places called destruction rooms (also Rage rooms, Wreck rooms or similar titles). They offer you a safe environment to destroy everyday things by using the tool you choose ( a bat, metal pipe, hammer, ax, etc.). Here are some examples from Chicago and Las Vegas!
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi3 years ago
These look fun and are, in part, how I imagine these rooms to be.
Thanks, Juranium
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A conversation site for mutuals with ill mental health.

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Jan 09, 2022
When you're having the absolute worst time, literally a minor inconvenience away from quitting, and someone says " You know, you really should cheer up. " Capital idea man! Why didn't I think of that? Now I'm both sad AND frustrated.
A site for people with no real friends to connect with other people for the explicit purpose of misery in company.
The mentally well do not really understand the thought processes of the mentally unwell. Personal anecdote. Back in high school, there were these mental health breaks where motivational speakers would come "motivate" kids and leave self-help books. The effort was appreciated but the message didn't really reach the intended audience. If one cannot generate motivation internally towards their own life, it stands to reason that simply telling them to cheer up or keep at it won't do it.
What does do it, however, is shared experience. Instead of putting effort into pushing people forward which may have the unintended consequence of pulling them lower once they realize how much wasted effort is put into them, Effort should be placed into maintaining their present mental state. Talking to other people who understand and also want to talk but aren't actively trying to help you feels safer and more meaningful. A mutual understanding that we are both sad and it's ok is pretty affirmative to one's mental well-being when compared to "everyone else is happy and you should be too". At a large enough scale the values of group psychology should even the heard out. Practical life solutions of people who can access therapy will leak onto those that can't effectively improving their mental health without them being aware of it.
Of course, you could argue that sites like Reddit have entire subreddits dedicated to depression memes or sad music and you would be right. But it's a public site all the same, and someone might just want to post memes and not necessarily want to communicate with someone. The personal element and mutual investment in other individuals is what I think is most necessary. As an added benefit it is low cost. This is a theory though and in practice society is really complex, some people may just join the site to troll others just for kicks. A way to keep the site safe would have to be thought of too and implemented.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
I agree with your thought process, but I think there already are a lot of forums and maybe whole websites dedicated to this purpose (connecting people with mental health issues to support each other).
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Bot psychologist

Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov Aug 14, 2022
In fact I am developing a bot that will replace psychologists in 95% of cases.
Service will be free for everyone and translated to most of languages.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
I really doubt the 95% of cases, but the idea is useful. I do believe that a truly advanced AI could better improve human psychology than another human, but we're not technologically there yet.
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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov2 years ago
My preliminary testing showed 86% of effect out of those who finished the hour of the mini-course. This is not opimized, I have many ways to drive it up by another 5-10%. The major problem is the user's motivation to finish the course and continue it every day to achieve long-term results. Only 5% of users finished the course. Others just quitted before finishing. But we will add multiple systematic measures to solve this problem. As a result it must be solved at least by 40%, perhaps more. 40% of people will use this bot in the long-run, and 95% of these 40% will get results.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi2 years ago
I don't know how to react to this. I don't believe bots can replace human psychologists. However, I guess we'll find out when you launch your bot. We can't know unless we try anyway.
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Therapy rooms in people's homes

Povilas S
Povilas S Sep 14, 2022
An improvement regarding the therapy room that you propose would be to have it at home instead of needing to go somewhere to access one.
Because then you could exercise self-therapy whenever you need it. If you need to go to the other side of the town to release some steam, by the time you get there you might not want to break anything anymore, the anger might be well sunk into your subconscious. If you had where to do it at home it would be way more useful, quicker and cheaper.
One could install such a room at home him/herself. What it takes is having a rather unused extra room, which can be tiny, a size of a pantry or so, and making it as soundproof as possible. Old stuff you no longer use can be brought to this room for destruction.
There could even be a company specializing in converting any room of your choice at your home into a sound and, preferably, vibration-proof chamber. Such a company could cheaply buy or collect old things from people that they no longer use and equip the soundproof chambers with any stuff of the customers' choice.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
The company could also sell stuff for smashing the items like baseball bats, gloves with metal knuckles, hammers, machetes, etc. They could rent such staff, too. They could also sell protective gear to be used while performing the activity like goggles and headgear, helmets, gloves, sturdy shoes, coats, jackets, etc.
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Putting in use stuff people no longer need

Povilas S
Povilas S Sep 14, 2022
Self-therapy rooms provide possibility for putting in use things people no longer need but don't have the motivation to sell, give away or even throw either. Even throwing away your unused stuff could be complicated since you can't throw just anything in general trash or even recycling containers, you can get fined for that. That's one of the reasons many people continue keeping things they no longer use.
Such items could be used to equip therapy rooms for people who want/need to break something. The company installing and equipping such rooms in people's homes (as described in my other contribution) could collect a large pool of various things people no longer need, then their customers wanting specific items in their therapy rooms could browse for those on the company's website and order them for a small price. People giving their unused stuff to the company would also get paid a little for that.
The problem of getting rid of what remains from things after the self-therapy remains, but this can also be taken care of by the company. They could come regularly or upon your request and collect the trash from the room and dispose of it properly. When the stuff is smashed, cut, or otherwise damaged it's arguably easier to dispose of. They could do it for free (if you bought stuff from them) or for an additional fee.
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