Are you desperate for the perfect book? Having trouble choosing between the Tao Te Ching or Who Moved My Cheese? Can't figure out whether Siddartha or Lipstick Jungle will be better suited for your emotional development? There is hope. For a small fee! Of $30/hour.
Ami With an I recently spotted the above flyer advertising the services of Lucy Sun, a self-declared "book therapist" operating out of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Book therapist, you say? What in Dante's Inferno is a book therapist?
We wrote to Lucy Sun to find out. "Think of 'book therapy' as a mash-up between traditional therapy and the wise souls at your local bookstore," she explained over email. "Let's say you would like to get better at setting boundaries with a needy friend while still maintaining the friendship. Together, we would talk about your situation, find the right book to read, and work together to make a practical plan to apply the lessons of the book to your specific situation." As your book therapist, she will even read the title along with you. "I'll be your coach as you read the book, pushing you to actually apply what you've read to make real improvements in your life."
'Book therapist' is a title Sun conceived. A business strategy consultant by trade, she doesn't have a formal education in literature or therapy. She majored in Economics at Columbia University (where she points out that "the Core Curriculum is notoriously lit-heavy"), tutored high-school students in literature and poetry, and maintains an active Goodreads profile she sends to prospective clients. (Her 246 completed works range from Jurassic Park to Oedipus Rex to Middlesex; on her wish list is Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You to Be Rich.)
"While I don’t have a traditional background in therapy, I am passionate and experienced when it comes to helping people make changes and unlock their potential," Sun reasoned. "I'm also told by many of my friends that I’m very helpful when it comes to talking out a bothersome issue."
Not everyone is convinced this is a legitimate service. A Tumblr user named Alex wrote Sun, received a reply similar to ours, and concluded, "This is such horse shit."
"Is it crazy that I think this is a brilliant idea?" countered Alice Kaltman a/k/a Mermaid Wannabe. "I'm a social worker/psychotherapist in private practice for over 20 years."
In any case, there seems to be a little something off with the bookshelf on the flyer. Anyone know of a good shelf therapist we could recommend? Pays $60 an hour.
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