“Stressed Stockholmers are always pushed for time, and it is easy to become depressed by the dark and cold as autumn takes hold. During October, Stockholmers only see daylight for ten hours a day – and even then it is often obscured by cloud. This affects our mood and the ‘winter blues’ can easily set in”, says Taxi Stockholm in its announcement of a new service, trying to combat the (winter) blues:
Taxi Stockholm, the largest radio-circuit in the Swedish capital, is now trying out placing qualified psychotherapists in some of its vehicles, so that passengers can talk about their problems with a professional while on the move. Anyone can book a therapy trip for a certain period.
“According to Taxi Stockholm’s own survey, over 70 percent feel that a taxi ride with them is a good moment for thought and reflection. And as the mind begins to wonder, there are many who would like to bounce their thoughts off another person. There is also the issue that many Stockholmers constantly find themselves pushed for time. Now they can use the taxi ride to take care of themselves, instead of sitting and playing with their mobile.”
“Our taxi drivers feel they get to hear things that they don’t know how to respond to,” explains Carina Herly, Marketing Manager for Taxi Stockholm. “Taxis are a place where so many stories are told and questions discussed – and often the drivers are the perfect people to talk to, but not always. That’s why we thought we’d try out this idea of taxi therapists.”
Taxi Stockholm’s aim is to create a new forum for people to bring up their problems and take a step towards solving them. However, conversations with a taxi therapist in no way represent a full programme of therapy. “Everyone needs to talk about things that bother them. We want to encourage this, and to help break down the taboo that still surrounds therapy to some extent, even though a great deal of progress has been made in recent decades. The taxi therapists naturally can’t offer a complete solution, but hopefully there’ll be an interesting conversation at least,” says Herly. The cab company now offers three female therapists on its programme.
Taxi conversations have become something of a cultural institution. The film ‘Taxi Driver’ starring Robert de Niro and Alexandra Pascalidou’s book ‘Taxi’ are just two examples of popular works based on dialogues in taxis. However, Taxi Stockholm is the first in the world to introduce talking therapy with professional psychotherapists.
More information –in Swedish- and booking: http://taxiterapeuterna.se/.
• This time the taxi driver is not the therapist…