Lately I've been feeling a certain lack of confidence. Truthfully, I've been emotionally edgy and my stress levels were rising. I would've called Richard, my old therapist, but he retired three years ago. My local mental health center was backed up with patients; they said I might be able to see someone in a week or two.
I really didn't want to start the whole process over again with someone new. In fact, I didn't even need "the whole process" - I just wanted to go over a few things with a qualified professional.
I'm super close with my twin, Jonathan, who teaches psychology at a local university. He immediately suggested Talkspace. He uses it all the time, because it alleviates the pressures of the day and helps keep him sane.
I was a bit surprised when Jonathan told me that Talkspace offers therapy online. But he's quite tech-savvy, why wouldn't he take advantage of the benefits of telehealth. I had a zillion questions, but Jonathan quickly calmed me down by sharing his experiences with Talkspace.
Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?
Jonathan said the only upside to traditional therapy is the in-office visits. Talkspace allows face-to-face video capability, so there's more flexibility with your schedule. They address stress, anxiety, depression, parenting issues, and even have mental health coping exercises.
If you need to deal with something major outside of office hours, Talkspace has that covered. You can send text, audio, picture, and video messages to your therapist from a web browser or the Talkspace mobile app with guaranteed response 5 days a week within 24 hours.
And, once you've registered, therapy can begin on the same-day.
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What are the therapists' qualifications?
Talkspace's national network features thousands of licensed therapists who, on average, have 9 years of experience as professional mental health care providers who practice a range of approaches and specialties.
Not only that, they've been carefully vetted and trained to use Talkspace's particular therapy platform and are well versed in effectively treating people virtually.
How do you find the therapist who's right for you?
After answering about a dozen questions about yourself and why you're seeking therapy, you create an account. The great thing is you can skip through some of those questions if you want to go straight to finding a provider, or you can select to learn more about therapy and answer the full dozen or so questions. Based on your answers, Talkspace recommends three potential therapists. You can also let them know your preferences, like if you want a male or a female therapists.
Something really neat is what they call the refresh option - if the therapist you've chosen doesn't meet your needs, you can switch to a new one.
How confidential is it? Is my privacy protected?
Talkspace's platform is not only HIPAA-compliant, it utilizes encrypted banking-grade, industry standard technology to safeguard private information and ensure confidentiality.
Won't this cost an arm and a leg?
Talkspace is a subscription service with various options - plans run from $65 to $100 per week. Even with insurance, a single in-office session with my therapist Richard cost $120 a week. Our household budget is tighter than it used to be, so Talkspace's great savings make therapy a possibility.
Plus, Talkspace works with many employers, health plans, and employee assistance programs (EAP) to make therapy available and affordable for everyone.
I took Jonathan's advice and gave Talkspace a spin. I chose a female therapist who is licensed in my state, with 8 years of clinical experience. Because I'm not tied to weekly in-person sessions, I can deal with things as they come up. I simply send her a message and she'll respond on weekdays - that's 5 days/week. There's no waiting around for an appointment.
I'm feeling so much better these days. My Talkspace therapist and I agree that self-compassion and resilience are essential for dealing with tough times. She helps me to keep positive, focused, so I'm balanced and prepared for the challenges of our new normal.