For this post I am going to use the second definition of affluenza listed at the link, because it is the one the public is more familiar with due to the trial of Ethan Couch in 2013. So affluenza is: “The inability of an individual to understand the consequences of their actions because of their social status or economic privilege.”
Basically affluenza is largely a matter of the sufferer being allowed by society to do whatever they want with little consequence. For such a sufferer I believe I have a treatment. That is I would set up an office such that a sufferer wouldn’t get their way during their treatment session.
Then after an intensive year or more of treatment, the sufferer’s internal voice might finally realize how things might be for other people. As well, the sufferer might be able to empathize with others for the very first time.
A treatment session might begin like so:
“Hello, Devon, I’m Mr. Sparlo, your affluenza specialist. Please hand all your phones over to Morris here in the Guy Fawkes mask.”
“No,” says Devon. “I don’t trust him if he won’t show his face.”
“Alright then, Gunner you can reveal yourself.”
A body builder steps in from an adjoining room. “I will make you give up the phone.”
“$300 says you won’t.”
“I am a medical professional. I don’t want your enabler dollars. Where is your phone?”
Reluctantly Devon says “Here,” and hands over the phone to Morris.
“Morris is a professional, too. He’s a hacker,” says Mr. Sparlo.
“You can’t give a hacker my phone. That’s un-, un-, unethical. He could mess up my whole life.”
“We need to see how deep this dumpster fire goes,” says Mr. Sparlo. “If Mr. Morris leaves us and takes to blackmailing you, we know it goes very deep.”
At this point, Morris has left for an adjoining room. The door closes and you can hear more than one lock being closed.
“But-,” Devon starts.
“Devon you can go in our largest room,” Mr. Sparlo offers. “Sit in the chair in the middle of the room. I’ll sit behind my desk and Gunner can watch the door.”
“That’s how we will spend our session?”
“If all goes to plan.”
Devon and Mr. Sparlo sit. Gunner stands by the doorway. Gunner and Mr. Sparlo get out their own phones and and begin using them intently.
“Are you looking up my case?” Devon asks.
“Shhh!” says Mr. Sparlo without moving his eyes from his phone. He then presses the phone a few more times.
After a few seconds more of nothing, Devon asks, “May I have a phone? This is boring.”
Sparlo’s “Shhh!” is quick and the treatment pair then go back to their phones.
“Then I’m leaving if you won’t do your jobs.” Devon gets up but Gunner sits Devon right back down again.
“We’re doing our jobs,” says Mr. Sparlo. “Have you ever heard of a time out?”
Devon’s face reddens. “That didn’t work as a child and will not work now! I demand you let me go.”
“Alright,” Mr. Sparlo puts down his phone and asks, “What did you hope for from this therapy?”
“I just hoped it would keep me out of jail.”
“Aha! You do have some currency.” Mr. Sparlo dials someone on his phone. “Warden Simms? Do you have the space for someone overnight? You do? Good. I’ll send him right over.”
Gunner takes out a pair of handcuffs and makes Devon put them on.
“Don’t worry,” says Mr. Sparlo as they are leaving. “We’ll make sure we have you out of there just in time for tomorrow’s appointment.”