Professional and lay persons alike have been misled toward unrealistic goals and the perpetuation of inadequate methods in managing the national burden of psychological disorder. The most promising procedure which thus far has been uncovered for management, treatment, and prophylaxis of the so-called functional mental and nervous sicknesses is a conversation which has therapeutic intent and occurs in a relationship of friendship. In the area of mental illness, unrealistic goals and misinformed attitudes with respect to the character and distribution of presently incurable disorders have led to a failure to develop and apply palliative techniques with the sincerity and reasonableness with which mitigation is afforded by the physician and surgeon. There is a peculiar circularity of the supply-demand function in the area of mental hygiene; increases in supply increase demand rather than reducing the supply-to-demand ratio, and level of supply remains always beneath level of demand. As more therapists are trained, demand for their conversation increases.