Mediaplanet chatted with Roni Frank, Co-Founder and Head of Clinical Services at Talkspace, about the benefits of online therapy.
Co-Founder and Head of Clinical Services, Talkspace
Other than convenient scheduling, what are the benefits of choosing online therapy? Are there certain patients you think are better suited for online therapy?
Stigma has always been one of the most significant barriers to entry for people new to therapy. For some, sitting at a private practice, looking into a therapist’s eyes might feel intimidating or shameful. By letting clients message their therapists from the comfort and privacy of their devices, Talkspace helps people open up much more quickly than face-to-face therapy.
On average, a single, 45-minute in-person therapy session costs $150-200 dollars. Talkspace plans start at $49/week, and include unlimited messaging with a dedicated therapist so that clients never have to wait a week to address a challenging feeling or situation.
The difficulty of finding a therapist often discourages people who need help from seeking it. Talkspace not only makes finding a therapist easier, but also enables clients to start treatment the same day they subscribe.
Recently, we also built a self-service switch feature that enables clients to switch therapists simply and independently, without ever having to go through Customer Support.
Online therapy is great for people who are very busy and find it hard to commit the necessary amount of time to traditional therapy (which involves commutes, scheduling hassles, a 45-50 minute session, waiting time, etc.)
For people who are dealing with shame or anxiety about going to therapy, online therapy provides more privacy. There’s no stress around leaving in the middle of the workday, or running into people you know.
How does online therapy benefit therapists?
Talkspace is an effective way for mental health providers to expand their client base and earn additional income without the added scheduling hassles or administrative costs associated private practice. Providers love the flexibility of the service; they can communicate with clients at any time, from anywhere, and work non-business hours. The provider community is also a huge asset for therapists, as they have access to thousands of fellow therapists and can support and learn from one another.
What is your hope for the future of online therapy? Do you see this becoming the norm?
Research shows that there are about 1 billion people around the world living with a mental health issue, but most can’t access treatment, mainly due to cost.The Talkspace mission is to make mental healthcare accessible and affordable for all. Traditional therapy may be effective, but certainly not accessible for most people, which is why I think online therapy will be the norm. We can already see that remote care solutions are growing very quickly.