Psychology and the Market
The ongoing popularization of psychoanalysis created an ever growing market for counseling and self-help. Especially after the 1960s and related to the even more accelerated postmodern (media) conditions, markets for such therapeutic tools expended both in the print and the electronic sectors.
The self-help book that “perhaps most revolutionized America’s relationship with the psyche” was Thomas A. Harris’s I’m OK – You’re OK, published since 1967 until today in numerous fast selling editions. It introduced transactional analysis (TA) to a broader U.S. audience, promising fast and easy to self-administer therapy for everyone.
In Hollywood, it were first of all thriller movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock that very much promoted psychotherapy as an approach to understand the causes for crime in individual conditions of human mind. In productions like Spellbound, Psycho or Marnie, therapy appears to be both an explanation and a cure for social disorder and individual wrongdoing.
That “go & get it” approach to therapy is still evident in nowadays or recent TV-shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show. More than anybody else, Oprah Winfrey made talking about one personal problems a public event, discussing cures for drug abuse, eating disorders or sex problems in marriage live with an audience of millions.