First there was speed dating. Now, there's speed healing.
Welcome to The Ten Minute Method, a new form of condensed counseling offered by a Chatsworth therapist that promises to be both fast and affordable at $18 a session.
You may be thinking: 10 minutes? That's just long enough to rearrange the throw pillows on the couch, pick at your cuticles as you fixate on a poorly framed Matisse print and hear, "We have to end now," as your shrink eyes the clock on the end table. Not so, according to Richard Posalski, a licensed clinical social worker and marriage, family and child counselor who invented The Ten Minute Method.
"When people know they only have ten minutes, they're prepared to crystallize what's going on with them in a straightforward manner," says Posalski. "In conventional therapy, roughly 75 percent of the time can be just venting and never getting to the problem."
After 30 years in the business -- Posalski was a social worker for the Jewish Big Brothers of Los Angeles and a member of the field faculty of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion before going into private practice -- he says less "clutter and confusion" helps him use his intuition to get "right to the heart of the matter." The therapist describes his counseling style as "Jewish pragmatic."
So far, he's conducted about 80 10-minute sessions and has helped patients with a wide range of problems, from one woman's question about how to handle her sister's holiday visit, to a mom's inability to let go of anger at her son's little league coach. Sessions, both in person and over the phone, deal with "everyday" issues, the type of concerns people are always approaching Posalski with at parties, as in: "This dip is great. By the way, have you ever treated anyone deathly afraid of flying?" Being approached at social events only reminds the counselor that most people have at least one question they'd love to ask a professional.
"There are all kinds of people that want help but would never get into therapy. Either it's too time-consuming or too expensive, or maybe for the average person, the notion of having their psyche probed is a deterrent," he explains.
If the idea of a 10-minute therapy session calls to mind those massage therapists who set up chairs at holiday office parties or in front of the health food store, that's no coincidence. In fact, that's how the counselor got the idea, watching a masseur set up his chair in the lobby of a local bed and breakfast. He thought, with limited time and resources wouldn't a talk be as good as a rub?
"I just want to help people feel better," he says. "And you don't have to feel crazy to take advantage of a therapist."
Posalski's Web site is www.The10minutemethod.com. He can be reached for appointments at (818) 773-9988.