Introducing Online Therapy
Online therapy is a relatively new concept, with a process identical to what you experience in a clinical setting, minus the stress of having to fit an hour long therapy session into your busy life. Since around 46 million Americans deal with mental illness, but only 39% of them receive any sort of regular treatment, online therapy is completely changing the game when it comes to mental health treatment. There is an unfortunate stigma around therapy, for no good reason. However, online therapy treatment completely removes the stigmas around seeking therapy. In fact, online therapy can be lifesaving in circumstances where someone is lacking the time or energy to talk to a therapist. Also, an in person therapy session can cost up to hundreds of dollars, but with online therapy, you can save money with unlimited communication plans.
Talkspace: A Space for Sharing
In modern life, it seems like everything can be done from the convenience of the phone in your pocket. Although this constant connection can be overwhelming, the benefits of frequent internet access can actually be therapeutic. With online therapy, you can mentally purge all of your thoughts into your phone, and your phone will talk back to you. Since mental health services can often be unapproachable, expensive, and stuffy, a new avenue for therapy is important. Enter Talkspace, an online mental health app. This type of service can address a variety of mental health concerns through avenues such as secure, HIPAA compliant Skype-like video chats, audio messages, and even text messaging. According to Talkspace, 500,000 people use their service to talk to one of the 1,500 mental health professionals that work for them.
Roni Frank, one of the founders of Talkspace also serves as their Head of Clinical Services. Frank created Talkspace to build a platform where people can access mental health services in a,, nonjudgmental and stigma-free environment. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from the New York School of Psychoanalysis. Frank and her husband decided to fund Talkspace after experiencing the benefits of therapy in their marriage.
One of the benefits of an online therapy program like Talkspace is the relationship with the therapist. Your therapist is there for you, replies once or twice per day, and he or she will be available to discuss any issue you may have. It can often be difficult, if not impossible for someone to carve out an hour or more each week to sit down with a therapist, making online therapy the convenient choice. In fact, the Talkspace relationship can be a better fit for the therapist as well, because he or she is able to focus less on paperwork and more on the patient-provider relationship. Furthermore, online therapy provides therapists the opportunity to learn how to be compassionate and helpful through writing.
The conversations with mental health professionals aren’t instant, but are actually asynchronous, so whenever you feel like talking to someone, you can send as many messages as you like, and have some time in between their response to reflect on your next steps.
How Talkspace Works
There are four steps to beginning the therapy process on Talkspace.
- Get Your Assessment
- Before you begin therapy with Talkspace, you need to talk with a matching therapist who can help you identify your specific needs.
- Choose Your Plan
- Whatever your budget is for therapy, Talkspace has a variety of options, starting at $32 a week.
- Choose Your Therapist
- Talkspace will help find the therapist that is the right match for you and your needs.
- Begin Your Therapy
- Get Your Assessment
- No matter where you are or what time it is, you can immediately start messaging your primary therapist.
Talkspace knows you cannot always predict your emotions. That is why, for as little as $32 a week, Talkspace offers Unlimited Messaging Therapy. With Unlimited Messaging Therapy, you can start texting your therapist any time. Talkspace also offers unlimited LiveTalk Therapy and Couples Therapy to help you with whatever you need.
Therapy for the Modern World
Online therapy, specifically Talkspace, seems to be a favorite among the millennial generation. Millennials in general have a better opinion about therapy than their older counterparts, and with their aptitude for technology, online therapy like Talkspace seem to be the best outlet for their mental health needs. Talkspace notes than the majority of its customers are millennials, with the average customer age between 33 and 34.
There also seems to be some correlation between the growth of Talkspace and the previous presidential election in 2016. Since the election, Talkspace has exceeded expectations, growing nearly 80% faster than projected. Furthermore, Talkspace has seen a spike in usage from females, Muslims, LGBTQ+ individuals, and persons of color.
On Election Day, Talkspace saw five to seven times as many customers than it usually does, and on Inauguration Day (January 20th), Talkspace had three times its normal volume. Talkspace was there for people with anxiety over the political climate, on both sides of the ideological aisle.
Therapy can be lifesaving, but when you don’t have the time to go to a therapist’s office or you are too uncomfortable with a clinical setting, online therapy may be for you. There are many options for therapy online through Talkspace, and sometimes it may take a little while to get the handle on what type of online communication works for your therapy process, but since therapy is a journey, and not an exact science, it is important to work with your therapist throughout your sessions to make sure you are getting what you need from therapy.