When the iPhone first came out, the extent of the craziness in the app world was that cool guitar app that you could actually strum and the Zippo lighter that you could turn on with a flick of the screen. Then came the tower defense games that ruled the beginnings of iPhone gaming, followed by the casual gaming craze of 2010. Forget all that. Your iPhone is now your personal shrink.
Before you scoff, just think about this. There are people in this world who pay an enormous amount of money to see all sorts of therapists for their anxiety. Therapy has become so commonplace in our society that the word "shrink" now has nothing to do with getting small, it is slang term for a therapist. Movies have been made about them and colleges are pumping them out in droves, but the industry is soon to be in decline. As much as I hate to say it, there's now an app for that.
For those who don't want to get caught up in telling your deepest personal thoughts to a therapist, all you have to do is download Shrinky. Shrinky is your own, on call, personal therapist that is backed by Glenn Burger and his 15 years of professional experience in the field. Your digital therapist isn't a person though, or even an animated figure... he's a Muppet.
From the press release: "Shrinky is an appealing Muppet-like guide that provides the consumer with an emotional toolbox to deal with any difficult feeling or relationship glitch. In this first version, “Shrinky For Anxiety,” he takes you through a series of steps that help you calm down and get relief from anxiety right when you’re starting to freak out –- at the airport, before a big speech -- anywhere you need help and comfort fast."
While there are numerous psych studies that I would like to see done here, (Can a Muppet replace a human? Does real human encouragement help anxiety relief more than a digital person? Am I certifiably crazy for telling a Muppet how I feel?) I can't help but think that Shrinky is the future of the psych field. I mean, why pay a person wads of cash when a respectable member of the psych community (that's my assumption anyway) says that I can fire my therapist. The exact quote from Glenn Burger is, "Can a $2.99 iPhone® app allow you to fire your expensive psychotherapist and save big $$$ in today’s troubled economy? I think so."
It all sounds crazy to me, but who am I to say. I've been confiding in a Muppet for the past 10 minutes.