She's in group therapy, in which participants speak about their problems and a therapist mediates the discussion. In her circle at school, anyone who hasn't been to therapy is seen as aberrant -- it's like "Oh my God, this person has issues," she said.
Why so many?
Gabriel Rolon, a prominent psychoanalyst who has written several best-selling books -- the new Argentine TV series "Historias de divan" is based on his writings -- said he sees the proliferation of psychologists in Argentina as good news.
While in other countries there may be a clearer division between physical and mental sickness, "in Argentina a very important battle was won, which was giving space to emotional health," he said, and acknowledging that a person who suffers emotionally needs professional help, "just like when he has pain in his knee or another physical symptom."
In his spacious white-and-wood home office, there is a particular sensitivity and poetry in the way that Rolon speaks about why the culture has evolved this way: That the people who created Argentina fled from war, hunger, ideological or religious persecution. Everyone had left something behind -- relatives, friends, language, land -- and so they brought with them a certain sadness and nostalgia.
"We became listeners interested in the pain of others, because we also needed people to be interested in our pain," he said.
This theory, he admits, may be more poetic than real, but it's true that modern Argentina has had a lot of influence from European immigration, particularly from independence in the 19th century until the 1950s, when immigration restrictions tightened during the country's military dictatorships.
The United States also had European immigration during this time, and psychoanalysis was also "the thing to do" in America in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, said Albert Brok, a psychologist who practices in New York but grew up in Argentina. But this form of therapy faded as a fad, conflicting with ideas about pragmatism, will and work ethic that are dominant in American culture.
Many Argentines I spoke with agreed that their culture is one in which people talk about their personal issues more openly than in the United States.
"In other countries, people are more closed off about their problems," Frankenberg said. "There's much more of a push for people to resolve their issues elsewhere, like throwing themselves into work."
People in Argentina commonly kiss one another on the cheek in saying hello and goodbye, expressing a warm feeling even between a dentist office receptionist and patient. They talk about their feelings. They sit in cafes without a sense of urgency, drinking café con leche with a small glass of soda water and eating small cookies.
Brok said the United States tends to have a culture more oriented toward shame and individualism, and an ethic of finding solutions to particular problems.
Argentina, he says, is more into introspection. The Argentine tango, too, invokes nostalgia and self-exploration, Frankenberg said.
The slowness of psychoanalysis in particular may make it unattractive in other cultures, Rolon said. No analyst can guarantee a result in six months, and therapy goes as long as it continues to feel right to the patient and analyst. Rolon has himself been going to psychoanalytic therapy for 25 years.
"Maybe a patient comes because of a problem. And when that problem is resolved, he realizes that he wants to continue working on other problems. In analysis, that is permitted," he said. "In other kinds of therapy, when a problem is resolved, it's over."
Fundamentals of psychoanalysis
The area around Plaza Guemes is nicknamed "Villa Freud" because of the concentration of psychologists' offices there. Frankenberg says it makes sense for many professionals to have offices there because it's "very safe and beautiful and commercial," with easy access.
In the display window of Libreria Legenda, a bookstore on a side street near Plaza Guemes, three books were lined up together among a smorgasbord of historical and philosophical titles: Writings of Jacques Lacan, a book about famous cases of psychosis and readings on the psychoanalysis of Freud and Lacan.
You've probably heard of Freud, perhaps best known for his beliefs that behaviors could be traced to several stages of psychosexual development, and that the human psyche has components called id, ego and superego. He argued that the unconscious has a critical role in the formation of our concept of self.
Lacan is more obscure in America, but he has been influential in the European thinking about the psyche that made its way down to Argentina.