Use your Mac as a Psychotherapist

Jan 23, 2010 - 8 Comments

Terminal in OS X

Need a therapy session? Your Mac has you covered. Yes, you read that right. You can use your Mac as a psychotherapist from the Terminal, thanks to emacs the text editor. Say what? If you’re confused don’t be, it’s an easter egg that has long existed and it’s easy to access.

How to Access the Secret Therapist in the Mac Terminal with emacs

It’s pretty amusing, and here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch the Terminal app
  2. Type ’emacs’ and hit return
  3. Press Shift+Escape keys, then hit X
  4. Type “doctor” and hit return to start the psychotherapy session

Mac psychotherapist to the rescue! See the screenshot below to get an idea of what it looks like.

mac psychotherapist

In case you’re wondering, this is not just a Mac specific feature, it’s part of emacs, a UNIX text editor, and it works on virtually any version of emacs out there.


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Posted by: Bill Ellis in Command Line, Fun


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. anjali says:


  2. leelee says:

    My terminal says it doesn’t define the emacs. Idk why that is the case but I wish I could find a way to do this. If you know the solution or update please respond in the comments

  3. Not so amazing. I wrote a program in Basic, no less, over 20 years ago I called Dr. Ram. It was based upon Rogerian non-directive analysis.

    Every entry by the “patient” was checked for certain stress words such as mother, father, sister, brother, hate. love, etc. A stress word would bring up a random number generator that would activate a response often using the keyword such as “tell me about your mother.” or a general comment such as, “How long have you felt this way?” or “Do you often feel this way?”

    It ran great on an Atari 128XE. Lots of fun with friends using it. Too bad I didn’t save all the entries. LOL

  4. BartendingBear says:

    There used to be a text editor available for the Classic environment which would perform the same function. Sorry, can’t remember the name.

  5. cory says:

    this is pretty cool. i HAD to tweet it. thanks for sharing.

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