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article imageStockholm’s backseat therapists to help battle ‘winter blues’

By Martin Laine     Oct 28, 2014 in Health
As the months of extended darkness loom in the northern latitudes, so does the lethargy and depression known as “winter blues.” One Stockholm taxicab company is offering to have a therapist talk with their passengers during their ride.
Taxi Stockholm began the free experimental program Monday and expects to run it over the new couple of weeks for now. The idea combines the need of many people to cope with the change in mood with the urge to talk that a taxi cab seems to prompt, and resulted from a customer survey the company had conducted.
“Around 70 percent of people said their taxi journeys were a good time for reflection and that they often found their minds wandering,” said Natalia Santos, a spokesperson for Taxi Stockholm, in an article in The Local. “And when you think about it, the drivers can even become like therapists. So we decided to put the two together for all the Stockholmers – especially considering it’s getting so cold and dark now.”
Not every cab will have a therapist, so it won’t be possible to wave down any cab and expect to find a therapist sitting in the backseat. The company has hired three certified therapists who can be sent out on request. A customer can ask for a therapist when they call to book their ride, no matter how long or short.
“We don’t know how long each trip will be, so we have to be flexible,” said psychotherapist Mia Fahlen, one of the three taking part.
She said she expects loneliness to be the most common complaint.
“A lot of people are lonely,” she said. “There are so many single people in Stockholm. And a lot of the people I meet from abroad tell me they’re frustrated with Sweden. They say it’s really hard to meet people and that even when they try, the Swedes can be very quiet.”
More about taxicabs, winter blues, Seasonal Affect Disorder
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