From the Editor

From the Editor

By Rich Simon

January/February 2009

When I went to my neighborhood polling place on November 4, I did so with a certain dread. Voter turnout, we'd been warned repeatedly, was going to be "unprecedented," so I half expected it would be like standing in the purgatory of an endless airport security line. In fact, over the years, I've increasingly cocooned myself in a comfortable everyday ritual to avoid just such exposure to masses of living, breathing, unpredictable, 3-D human beings. No doubt about it—beyond my immediate circle of friends and coworkers, most of the people I'm exposed to in my life I prefer to observe from the safe distance of a television or movie screen and the Internet.

But part of the euphoria of this past election day wasn't due just to the satisfaction of knowing that, since I live in D.C., my own presidential preference was shared by just about everyone else waiting on line to vote. I was struck by how immersed I suddenly felt in the visceral sense of being in a real, 360-degree world with other beings huddled together to make a collective decision of enormous consequence. After months and months of devouring endless campaign tidbits from the media, the election ­wasn't being beamed to me from somewhere else—and not being viewed on a TV, Blackberry, iPhone, or my laptop computer. It was unfolding in real time, real space, in the palpable here-and-now.

Which brings us to the theme for this issue, "Face-to-Face: Therapy in the Age of Screenworld." With the proliferation of…

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