Hannah Zeavin on The Distance Cure with Adam Savage

21 Aug, 2021

Hannah Zeavin on The Distance Cure with Adam Savage

BCNM faculty member Hannah Zeavin recently featured on KQED with Addam Savage to discuss her book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy. In The Distance Cure, Hannah describes the history of teletherapy from its initial use in ongoing care to its role in crisis and symptom management, to our pandemic-mandated reliance on regular Zoom sessions for mental health care.

From Hannah in the broadcast:

The book at its outset had the aim of redescribing therapy via its shadow form, teletherapy. In order to do that, I had to keep going back and back and further back until I got to Freud himself, who it turns out not only provided therapy via distance in the letter but also himself made use of it as a sort of telepatient. It's existed since 1890.

The book is about what we're doing right now Adam. We're not in the same room although maybe two years ago we may have been. The conventional scneario is being in the room together. That is the assumed default. If you go to therapy, you're going to an office. That has been the persistant idea. We really imagine not only the office but also a white noise machine, maybe slightly yellowing magazines, a waiting room, and the book explains how as long as we've had that form, the conventional therapy scenario, we also have many other kinds of mediated experiences of humans helping other humans and machines potentially helping or claiming that they're helping humans, and that therapy at a distance has been around since Jung.

Listen to the entire broadcast here!