1. I believe I read that Schulz briefly had Lucy increase prices for inflation but eventually went back to 5 cents.

    Either that or the assistant’s pay comes out of the extra two cents.

  2. I’ve noticed some other price increases as well, and not just on recently-released versions of the comics. I have a paperback of old Peanuts cartoons, and It features the psychiatric booth on the front cover, and there it is listed as 34 cents. I assumed there was a special pricing event going on, because I remembered it as always being priced at 5 cents.
    In retrospect, I see it as in-character for Lucy to try some price-gouging on her established clentele.

  3. Powers has it @1: I found examples of the 7¢ price in strips dated 1968, 1972, and 1976 (click on the links to view the strips – I’m sure that it was just a coincidence that these were all in election years). There was also an odd exception in 1981, which seems like a typo, except that it’s hand-lettered:

    P.S. I thought I remembered a strip with a 25¢ price (in which the increase was discussed in the strip), but I was not able to find it. All later strips seem to have returned to the 5¢ price.

  4. P.P.P.S. The third link (to the 1976 strip) is the original appears of the re-run shown above in color.

  5. I’ve always liked the aspect of this that they forthrightly call it psychiatric help. When the Bob Newhart show came along (1972-78) they made him a psychologist, and by that time the general culture was to a degree suspicious of psychiatrists, who were seen as dealing with more serious mental disorders and often in an inpatient setting. Later still, most people thought of outpatient mental health services as being provided by a therapist, moreso than a psychiatrist, or certainly than an analyst, and indeed more than a psychologist (clinical psychologist for outpatients was never much of a thing, except for Bob). And therapists had clients more often than patients. Sometimes the most common answer to “what kind of therapist are you seeing?” would be “a psychiatric social worker” so “psychiatric” was still part of it, but by and large the public wasn’t going as outpatients to psychiatrists.

    Yes, there are rules as to who needs an MD degree, who gets called “Doctor”, who can prescribe medications. But I don’t think we ever saw Lucy prescribe meds, and maybe not Bob Hartley.

    Did anyone else see last year’s miniseries “The Patient” with Steve Carrell (of “The Office” shame) as a therapist of some kind who gets held captive by one of his patients. Do you recall his professional designation? I think maybe he was a psychiatrist, in exception to my general idea that very few are. Though IMDB summary says “A psychotherapist finds himself held prisoner by a serial killer who demands he help him curb his homicidal urges.”

  6. Psychiatrists are a shrinking profession. “The psychiatrist workforce will contract through 2024 to a projected low of 38,821” (Psychiatry Online)

  7. I have a sister who is a psychiatrist, that is an MD profession. She got her medical degree first, then specialized in child psychiatry in residency.

  8. Here’s the strip to which MinorAnnoyance referred:

    P.S. It’s easier to find when one remembers that Charlie Brown has mastered the proper use of the subjunctive case.

  9. Another popular-entertainment psychiatrist was Dr. Jason Seaver, patriarch of the Seaver clan from Growing Pains. That came around about a decade after The Bob Newhart Show. (There’s also Dr. Otto Scratchnsniff from Animaniacs, but he was more of a p-sychiatrist.)

  10. Brian in STL says I have a sister who is a psychiatrist, that is an MD profession.

    I OTOH have a sister who is not a psychiatrist — but shares her name with a fictional character who is a Psy.D. psychologist.

  11. @ zbicyclist – “ Inflation was terrible in 1981.

    In addition to the 34¢ example in October of that year (shown above), Schulz raised the price one last time to 50¢ in December:

    … and delivered another inflationary comment on New Year’s day:

    P.S. Lucy’s psychiatric booth did not appear again until June 27th, but by that time Schulz had decided to abandon Lucy’s financial campaign, restoring the price to the traditional 5¢ for the last two decades of the strip.

  12. P.P.S. @ zbicyclist – “… when I got a 17% mortgage.

    Strictly speaking, the excessive mortgage rate was not a direct result of inflationary price increases, but was a side-effect of the Fed’s efforts to slow down the economy by (massively) increasing the prime rate offered to banks, which of course percolated that rate increase onto all consumer loans.

  13. I started my career as an engineer at Megacorp in 1981. That December, they gave all summer-hire engineers a flat 10% raise, partly due to inflation and partly the engineer shortage at the time.

  14. @ zbicyclist – Just in case you were expecting a reaction to that comment about the “shrinking profession“, here it is: Oy veh!

  15. Robert was the Executive director of a children’s mental health agency. (His masters degree is in rehabilitation counseling, his bachelors in psychology.) The program was a full day, non-residential, and the children had both their school and counseling in the program.

    He had to retire early as he got burned out from dealing with state mental health and state education both of which were involved in the program. One government agency would come in and tell him that the program had to do “X” and then after they had gone through the money and planning to do so, the other agency would come in and say “Why are you doing X – you are not allowed to do that!” They also had to keep their financial records on an calendar year for mental health and on a school year for education.

    This is why I have had home with me since he was in his mid 50s – when he quit and went looking for an alternative – such as our (really not successful) craft business. We would joke that he was a non-starving artist to his patroness (me) who picked up more accounting work to help us get by.

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