Hannah Zeavin, "The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy" (MIT Press, 2021)

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On this episode, J.J. Mull interviews author Hannah Zeavin about her new book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy (MIT Press, 2021). Among Zeavin’s central interventions in the book is to reframe what is normally understood as the “therapeutic dyad” as always already a triad: therapist, patient, and mediating communication technology. Across the book’s chapters, she traces teletherapy’s history from Freud’s epistolary treatments to contemporary algorithmic therapies. Her account of the “distanced intimacy” characteristic of all therapeutic encounters complicates narratives of technologically mediated treatments as somehow inherently “less than.”

J.J. Mull is a poet, training clinician, and fellow in the Program for Psychotherapy at Cambridge Health Alliance. Originally from the west coast, he currently lives and bikes in Somerville, MA. He can be reached at: jay.c.mull@gmail.com.

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