It’s not quite free therapy. But if you need someone to talk to, these strangers will listen.

The idea for the Sidewalk Talk project was conceived in San Francisco by two therapists, Traci Ruble and Lily Sloane. Ruble saw it as a way to encourage human connection, and Sloane imagined it as a way to destigmatize therapy.

Ruble said she long fantasized about putting her therapist’s chair outside and inviting people to sit down for a free session. When she shared her “crazy idea” with other therapists, many said they’d often had a similar thought.


By Colby Itkowitz