A lot of people need help. But, paying a therapist $110 for a 50 minute session isn’t something that a lot of people can afford.
That’s why a new startup called Talkspace is hoping you’ll love what they’ve come up with: private and affordable therapy through your mobile device or through the web. Here’s how it works.
From the moment you visit the Talkspace website, you are prompted to ask a question. You can view the name of the therapist you’ll be speaking to in addition to that person’s credentials and photograph. From there, you can choose the kind of package or payment plan that you want to sign up for.
The text plan: text your therapist every day for an entire week as often as you want. The fee for this plan is $25 per week.
Video therapy: this option is a lot more personal and involves a video therapy session. The fee for video therapy is $29 for 30 minutes.
Public forums: you can post or read through forums for free for the first five times. After that, you can choose from a package that suits your needs.
Can a mobile device really replace a therapist? For some people, this form of communicating with a therapist will work very well – especially if that person wants to remain anonymous. For others, the therapist and client relationship is a highly developed one that forms through some kind of in-person contact. How do the therapists that Talkspace is working with stack up?
The Therapist Lineup
Talkspace has managed to attract some therapists with decent track records. Most of the therapists that take part in this program seem to be relatively new to the therapy field, and that makes sense given that this may be a quick way to earn some additional income and build a client base. Talkspace does offer 70% of profits to therapists, and the company takes that 30% cut.
Talkspace is looking for more therapists to add to the company, so check out the Talkspace page if you are a therapist looking to get some more clients or start your practice. The whole idea of a largely impersonal therapy session may seem strange to some, but it’s a concept that just might work in today’s digital world. Many people are comfortable texting and video conferencing, and those people are just fine with never meeting a therapist in person.
On the flip side, some therapists are completely against texting at all, so this app may start to bend some of those unwritten therapy rules. Some argue that you can’t develop a close relationship with a therapist via text, but that is, after all, how many of today’s married couples meet through dating websites. You can form a digital relationship. It might not be as close as a real in-person relationship, or it could be closer. It will be interesting to see how Talkspace works out, and if this startup stays afloat.