• Sweden's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions

Oliver Gee · 27 Oct 2014, 16:25

Published: 27 Oct 2014 15:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Oct 2014 16:25 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Ever found yourself talking to your taxi driver so much that it felt like a therapy session?
 
Well next week that feeling could become a reality as Taxi Stockholm sends three qualified therapists out with drivers around the capital.
 
Stockholmers can book a trip in advance and air their issues while jetting across town. And they shouldn't be afraid that drivers might share their mother complexes with the world - the cabbies have all signed non-disclosure agreements.
 
No trip is too short, according to Mia Fahlén, one of the psychologists involved in the project. 
 
"We don't know exactly how long each trip will be, so we have to be flexible," she told The Local.
 
She believes even a ten-minute trip could be enough to point a customer in a direction that could change their lives for the better. 
 

The therapy taxis have been on the streets since Monday morning. Photo: TT
 
What's more - the experience will most likely be cheaper than booking an ordinary therapy session, with Fahlén explaining that an hour-long discussion with her usually costs up to 1,200 kronor ($165).
 
The therapist says she signed up to the scheme to chase the "thrill of the unknown", but added that she could predict the main topic of worry from residents in the Swedish capital. 
 
"A lot of people are lonely. There are so many single people in Stockholm," she says.
 
"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."
 
Natalia Santos, a press officer at Taxi Stockholm, said the idea sprung from a customer survey the company recently carried out. 
 
"Around 70 percent of people said their taxi journeys were a good time for reflection and that they often found their minds wandering," she told 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."
 

Who needs to use a couch when there's a taxi available? Photo: Shutterstock
 
Santos said the idea was probably a world first. 
 
When asked if the move was also an advertising stunt to detract attention away from the controversial taxi-app service Uber, that has cut into the taxi market in Sweden recently, she insisted the idea had nothing to do with Taxi Stockholm's new rival.
 
"They're not really a threat," she said. "As long as everyone is playing by the same rules then we're happy to have the competition on the roads."
 
The taxi therapy trial begins on Monday November 3rd and is scheduled to run for at least a week.
 
By then, there might just be a few extra Swedes walking around with a brighter outlook. 
 
"You never know, some people might have 'express problems' where the solution isn't rocket science," says therapist Fahlén. 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No fire, but: Gävle's baby yule goat run over by car
The tiny goat before the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Not a great Christmas tradition, guys.

Swedes give low marks to pupils' performance
A classroom in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Less than a fourth believe that Swedish pupils learn what they need to in school, a new poll suggests.

My Swedish Career
'Hats off to the Swedish, I've learned a lot from them'
Miss Clara head chef Daniel Guest. Photo: AWB

The Local speaks to Daniel Guest, head chef at Stockholm's Hotel Miss Clara about working in Sweden, Swedish Christmas food, and why he has strong opinions on sugar.

Swedish Lucia advert sparks love and hate online
Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

An advert for Sweden’s Åhléns has unleashed a heated online debate after the department store chain unveiled a new campaign featuring a dark-skinned child, whose gender wasn’t obvious to all, dressed as a Lucia.

IKEA founder Kamprad suffers broken hip
Photo: Thord Nilsson / TT file picture

Ninety-year-old IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has suffered from a broken hip, which temporarily resulted in him being hospitalised, but is now in good recovery, his assistant said on Sunday. He may have to skip the traditional IKEA Christmas celebrations in his native Älmhult though.

What are Swedish values? Many Swedes are unsure
Photo: Erik Johansen / TT

Although perhaps one of the hottest potatoes in the Swedish political debate right now, many Swedes still find it hard to pinpoint exactly what Swedish values are, a new study shows.

Swedes protest cutbacks in personal assistance budget
Demonstrations were held in 25 towns and cities across Sweden on Saturday. Photo: Janerik Hansson / TT

Thousands of people staged demonstrations across Sweden on Saturday to protest recent cutbacks in the budget funding personal assistance for people with disabilities.

Police launch manhunt after deadly Stockholm shooting
No suspects have yet been arrested over the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish police have launched a massive manhunt after masked gunmen barged into a Stockholm café and shot two people to death late on Friday.

Sweden has fourth happiest workers in the world: report
Is Swedish fika the secret? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden is home to the fourth happiest workers in the world, an international survey has claimed.

Here's how much Ikea staff are getting for Christmas
Christmas comes early for Ikea staff. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/NTB scanpix/TT

Staff at Ikea are getting an early Christmas treat in the form of millions of euros to share between them.

Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of New York
National
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
Travel
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »

 

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden’s next big music export?
Gallery
People-watching: November 30th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
National
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Gallery
Property of the week: Skellefteå
National
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
National
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
Gallery
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
National
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
Gallery
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden’s next big music export?
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
National
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
National
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
Gallery
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Culture
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Travel
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
Culture
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
National
Here's where Sweden's best non-native English speakers live
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
Politics
Do Swedish polls underestimate support for Sweden Democrats?
3,496
jobs available