Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Psychotherapy in the Coffee Shop

I do many of my psychotherapy sessions in the coffee shop. That may sound surprising and even strange to you. Especially, if you're the traditional type who dislikes innovation or "outside the box." But it does work. I've witnessed a lot of people heal and move on in the coffee shop!

As you ponder about this innovation, you may be picturing yourself having a cup of coffee. You get familiar with the difference between a latte and an espresso, a cappucino and a frappucino. You keep coming back to the coffee shop as a popular meeting place, a social hub.

My work as a psychotherapist seems to have a synergistic relationship with the natural social hub of the coffee shop. Coffee, while processing life's issues, provides an excuse for - and a spur to - our need for relaxed interaction in the ebb and flow of life. This seems acutely sensed and present in the "small world" nature of society in the coffee shop.

The essayist Floyd Maxwell once declared coffee a "creative lighter fluid" that has psychological/cognitive benefits. Historically, the cup of coffee is inextricably linked with images of intellectual and creative endeavours, among doctors, philosophers, businessmen, and politicians.

Recent psychological findings reveal that coffee enhances the ability to solve problems as well as the interaction of coffee and personality/emotional type. Drs. Wegner and Weldon (1991, 2001) writes that the coffee shop has become a community place that allows "collective memory retrievable" and distributed cognitions as people meet in pairs or groups.

Indeed, this "love affair of people with coffee" has implications for psychotherapy and psychological treatment. Just as coffee and coffee shops permeate society and our brains, so the effects of coffee and coffee shops are also found at areas where psychotherapists are most concerned with - cognitive, social, emotional, clinical, neurophysiological, and even spiritual.




Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist
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