The Distance Cure: Hannah Zeavin & Fred Turner at Gray Area

18 Sep, 2021

The Distance Cure: Hannah Zeavin & Fred Turner at Gray Area

Hannah Zeavin joins the Gray Area to speak about teletherapy, psychotherapy, and her new book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy. From Freud's therapy by mail to crisis hotlines and Zoom sessions, Hannah presents the history of teletherapy from the perspectives of therapist, patient, and communication technology.

From the event description:

Zeavin tracks the history of teletherapy (understood as a therapeutic interaction over distance) and its metamorphosis from a model of cure to one of contingent help. She describes its initial use in ongoing care, its role in crisis intervention and symptom management, and our pandemic-mandated reliance on regular Zoom sessions. Her account of the “distanced intimacy” of the therapeutic relationship offers a powerful rejoinder to the notion that contact across distance (or screens) is always less useful, or useless, to the person seeking therapeutic treatment or connection. At the same time, these modes of care can quickly become a backdoor for surveillance and disrupt ethical standards important to the therapeutic relationship. The history of the conventional therapeutic scenario cannot be told in isolation from its shadow form, teletherapy. Therapy, Zeavin tells us, was never just a “talking cure”; it has always been a communication cure.

Watch the entire event here!