Airport and Hotel Psychology

Many people don’t understand the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist. In layman’s terms, a psychologist is a qualified medical professional who consults with you over a period of time and may use a variety of modalities (Freudian, Jungian) to address your difficulty. A Psychiatrist on the other hand, is a qualified medical doctor who specializes in conditions of the mind and is able to scripts for prescription drugs, where a psychologist is not able to.

The psychology behind having a hotel conveniently situated close to an airport is obvious. People are by nature always seeking the easiest options, the shortest route to travel, the quickest way to complete a task etc. So having a hotel situated very close to an airport, taps into that psychology –  the psychology of convenience. For many business travelers in town for one night only, it makes perfect sense to stay as close to the airport as possible. Check in, attend a meeting, have dinner, return to the hotel for a nap and then fly out next morning. It keeps travel to a minimum and you avoid the worry of missing a flight because you’re caught in unexpected traffic. On the topic of psychology, traveling away from home continuously, always being away from family, spending a lot of time on one’s own can lead to depression. Depression can creep on slowly and often remain undiagnosed until it reaches a critical point of helplessness. Depression is not uncommon among business professional who are required to move from country to country, airport to airport and hotel to hotel through the course of the year whilst doing their jobs. These businessmen will often put down their lethargy and feelings of fear and anxiety to the stress that they endure as a result of the pressures the experience as a result of their work. They certainly would not be quick to consider a visit to a psychologist.

On one of my trips to Cape Town from Philadelphia, I started feeling uneasy on the plane already, I started feeling an immense anxiety that I could only imagine was the onset of a panic attack. On landing at Cape Town International Airport, I checked into the nearby hotel and immediately searched the Internet for a psychologist. I was desperate and in no shape to attend the meetings I had scheduled for the next four days. I scanned through the search results and settled on Dr Anita Prag, southern suburbs psychologist. Her website was decent and informative and had the testimonials from past clients that set my mind at ease. Never having been to see a psychologist before, and now doing so for the first time in a foreign country only seemed to add to my anxiety. I made my way Anita’s practice in Bergvliet in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. It was a warm and friendly setting and I began to feel that I had made the right decision in coming to see Dr Prag. I found Anita Prag to be a warm, down to earth person with whom I felt quite relaxed in relating my feelings of anxiety I had been experiencing over the past twenty four hours. Anita had a soothing yet reassuring manner that allowed me to open up without feeling embarrassed or awkward. We discussed my career, my work schedule, my medical history and any other personal issues that I was dealing with in my life. It’s incredible how just voicing your fears and concerns to another human being and bouncing some of the sometimes crazy assumptions you may have made, can help. Anita was very good in getting to the underlying cause of my anxiety, which by the way was completely unrelated to work. I really had not expected much from a one hour consultation with a psychologist in a foreign country. After leaving Anita’s southern suburbs psychologist practice, I felt a great deal better having been given a lot of insight into my anxiety and the underlying causes. I would thoroughly recommend anybody away from home, in Cape Town, that needs help, to go to Anita’s website at

I think that as men, we often feel that talking about our feelings and god forbid, go and see a psychologist, shows weakness. We couldn’t be more wrong. We all need help from time to time.