Many people could benefit from professional help in the lifelong journey of self-knowledge but in a brave act of benevolence, 31-year-old Heidi Zhao psychoanalyzed her friends for free and without a license.
“I love giving my friends unsolicited advice,” says Heidi. “Not everyone can access therapy or counseling, and I’ve known some of my friends longer than they’ve known their therapists. Kevin the gaslighting ex? Been there. Sharon the boss with no boundaries? Done that. I witnessed it all in real-time.”
Heidi’s roommate, Andy, is often one of her clients.
“Andy is a Leo sun, Sag rising, Scorpio moon, Enneagram Type 3, Myers-Briggs ESTJ, and his top love language is gift-giving, closely followed by quality time,” Heidi says. “Based off of this information, and the fact that Andy’s parents are divorced and he has never expressed interest in having children, we — as in just me — can conclude that he has a deep-seated desire to appear prestigious, which is why he wants to move out and find a luxury apartment along the river.”
In an exclusive interview, Andy shared his perspective after asking multiple times if he was being recorded.
“I actually decided to move out because Heidi wasn’t honoring HIPAA. I mean, I know she’s not technically bound to it, but if you’re going to be my unlicensed therapist, at least play by the rules,” he says. “All our friends knew all my secrets, and I didn’t even think about moving to a building with a doorman until Heidi said that was something I would be interested in. Before then, I was going to move to a co-op with some people I found online. I don’t even know who I am or what I want anymore.”
Andy will go on to find a certified mental health professional and spend six months unlearning Heidi’s instinctive psychoanalysis.
Meanwhile, Heidi has no intention of undergoing any kind of professional training.
“A master’s degree and supervised clinical hours would be a lot of time and work,” she says. “I guess I could seek out other credentials or practice mediating and facilitating groups, but for now I’d rather go with my gut. What’s the harm?”