The Doctor is INside you.

Lucy's boothSee Denver's 9 News piece about us.

My best friend's Mom, a retired psychologist, was telling me at her
 son's birthday party that she missed helping people, but didn't want
an office or paperwork anymore. It popped into my mind: "Why don't
 you have a booth like Lucy in the Charlie Brown comics, with signs
saying 'The Doctor is IN' and 'Psychiatric Help' and take it out on
Boulder's  Pearl St. Mall?" She said she was too shy and it wasn't her
style, and I forgot about it.

The next year, my old friend Patch Adams (the real one) came to
Boulder for CU's World  Affairs Conference. He's been an inspiration to me since 1983 when we met
 through a mutual friend, a juggler like us. (I earned my living as Evan from Heaven, the not-so-tight-rope
artist and juggler1978 to 1998 on the Mall except  1982-5 when Boulder banned many of us. I met Patch
in Washington DC during this
itinerant time.)

our Doctor is IN boothI decided to try the booth  myself. I did it occasionally with just a card
table and folding chairs for  several years. Now we h
ave an authentic
booth! (See the Boulder Daily Camera article.) It's often the most
rewarding thing I do. I've helped people analyze their deepest dreams.

I advised one guy to refuse to plead guilty
-under pressure to cop a plea-
to something he didn't do and so become a profit center for the justice
system. He beat the phony rap.

The most Frequently Asked Questions I get are about 1. relationships
2. what do I do with my life/do for work and 3. health. 

After awhile I figured out why I, with no training, could do this. I
remembered my high school sweetheart, Emily, who would befriend
and become the confidant of the grayest, most alienated commuters she'd
sit with on the train to NYC, or rock stars she'd meet backstage. I learned
 from her. If God or evolutionary intelligence is inside us, we can all help
each other -and ourselves. Two professional psychologists have apprised
me that studies  show us amateurs are better at it than they!
(search the .pdf for "amateurs;" it's the original,
peer-reviewed offline sources cited, not this document, which are impressive.)

It's become trite to deplore the lack of community in America, but it's true. I was fortunate enough to
live with or close to Indians in Mexico and Guatemala who retain much of traditional community. They
have far less violence but hardly anyone goes to a psychologist. They have family and friends around
all the time.

The Virginia Tech massacre made our project much more popular recently. It brings up the question:
what is education, or for that matter, psychology, for? I believe it should be to help us
find our own way, not to impose any curriculum or theory. At the Sudbury Schools they actually practice
what the U.S. government preaches: freedom and democracy. All decisions, including budgets,
hiring and firing, are made at weekly School Meetings, at which everyone, from the youngest to the
"principal" have one vote. The kids are busy with their own projects, and helping each other. This means
no pressure on teachers to entertain, and that private Sudbury schools cost less than public schools!
There are no classes unless the kids lobby for them at the Meeting. Their
book Free at Last describes in the first chapter how a dozen kids lobby for an arithmetic class, sign a
contract with an adult to show up and do the work, and then cover six years of arithmetic in 20 weeks,
twelve times the usual rate! The kids are totally committed to what is their own education. I toured the
Sudbury-model Alpine Valley School in Wheat Ridge with my longtime friend and former Colorado Board
of Education member Jared Polis and we were both impressed. See my letter to the Denver Post,
the fourth letter down.

How cruel it is to graduate from such a school to work in a world where freedom and democracy are so rare.
Here's something you can do about it: vote to ratify The National Initiative for Democracy, largely
authored by former U.S. Senator and current presidential candidate Mike Gravel. I've been working
for the concept for 18 years. It's endorsed by people from Patch Adams to Howard Zinn.

Evan Ravitz, evan (at)