YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Tuning In a Shoulder to Cry On


Picture this scenario: You're traveling, you're away from your therapist, you're feeling . . . neurotic. So you call him or her and discuss your feelings. Well, psychotherapist Jill Blacher of Beverly Hills can do your shrink one better.

That's because Blacher communicates with some of her out-of-town patients via a video telephone. While nothing beats the real thing, according to the press release: "This unique concept in Global Communications (capital letters theirs) is the wave of the future and ideally suited for the traveling patient. . . . With the advent of Televideotherapy, treatment is enhanced by viewing patients and observing their emotional reactions." Patients must provide their own couches and Kleenex.

Chauffeured Fantasy

Can't face that snarled traffic anymore? Tired of steering your car around potholes the size of phone booths? Can't afford to rent a limo? Want to live out your Whitney Houston / Kevin Costner "The Bodyguard" fantasy?

Gregory Fibble of Private Chauffeurs International in West L.A. knows just how you feel. That's why he's offering "Just the Chauffeur," where you rent just the chauffeur , like the name says, who drives you around in your own car.

Fibble says his clients include business and entertainment industry execs whose expense accounts have been chipped away, and find this a livable alternative. He adds that it also appeals to senior citizens and a "couple of high-powered celebrities," as well as parents who don't want to worry about their teen-agers driving alone.

The cost is $16 to $17 an hour, considerably less than a chauffeured limousine, which runs about $50 an hour.

Fibble says his drivers have at least five to seven years of experience driving in L.A., and that "a good percentage" are law-enforcement officers, current or retired, and some have martial arts training. You can also request a licensed bodyguard--who will be packing heat--for $35 to $65 an hour.

And, yes, your chauffeur will drive your dented, paint-chipped wreck with the broken radio and the stuffing coming out of the seats.

Los Angeles Times Articles