Does Online Therapy Work?
Does Online Therapy Work?
I was scrolling through Instagram when an online therapy ad came up called Talkspace. It spiked my curiosity, as an introvert the idea of communicating through writing instead of face to face seemed interesting enough so I clicked on it, went through their Instagram and then started to wonder how would that even work? Is it real? Does it even help people? So many questions went through my mind and I wanted answers. So I did what you would want me to do, I researched, read reviews and tried it myself for a month.
Before even signing up I used my self proclaimed google expertise to find answers. I read through many reviews, most were positive. The negative ones where from people who felt they didn’t lose or gain anything from the experience, but that could be biased depending on the person. Some people also complained having to switch therapists multiple times before finding the right one. Besides that, the good reviews were a good start. But how private is this? Because I know for sure I wouldn’t want anyone knowing what I’m discussing besides my therapist. I dug deeper and found out they use encrypted coding to protect all your information, according to them the chat is so private not even Talkspace has access to it, only you and your therapist. Then I moved on to finding out how all of this works and how private it actually was. The idea behind Talkspace is that you can “text” your therapist via the app as many times as you want everyday and they will answer back to you twice a day, which sounds more convenient than waiting to let it all out only once a week with your face to face therapist.
Another concern of mine was whether or not the therapists were real? It could be just anyone on the other side of the chat. According to Talkspace’s website all their therapists are fully licensed and must have more than 3,000 hours of clinical experience to be hired. Which made me feel better. However I still recommend googling your therapist’s name to really see who they are, their licensing and their reviews before choosing them, that’s what I did.
My last question was, does this work? There was only one way to find out. I felt it was safe enough to sign up and I did. At the beginning they ask you a handful of questions so they can help you find a therapist that would work best with you and your personality. Then, they give you 3 therapist options to choose from. I googled all three of them and made a choice when I felt sure. The sign up process was easy and I found a coupon for first time users which was a nice surprise. I went in with mixed feelings, not sure what to expect. At first I was a bit skeptical of what to say or how honest to be but with time I felt more comfortable and was able to open up more. It felt like I was texting a friend instead of a therapist. I looked forward to the TalkSpace notification on my phone. The fact that I was able to let my feelings out at the moment when I felt them instead of waiting was extremely helpful. Overall it was a good experience and I had a good therapist. There was one thing that I found to be a negative which was that my therapist liked to reply back at 2 am, when I was already sleeping. I wish she would’ve been able to at an earlier time.
The verdict: if you’re an introvert like me, have a busy schedule and have no time to schedule appointments or just want to let your feelings out this is a great app to use. However nothing will ever be able to replace face to face interactions in my opinion. There’s something about human connection in the physical form that cannot be replaced or felt through a phone.
Whatever you decide to choose, the important thing is that you’re making the first step needed in taking care of yourself and your mental health and for that we are proud of you. Everyone needs therapy at some point in their life, you don’t necessarily need to have a mental illness to speak to someone but we for sure all need to let our feelings out and get guidance along the way. Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of and we hope this post inspires people to seek the help they need.
What are your thoughts on online therapy? Share below.
(We are NOT sponsored by Talkspace in any way, this was an honest review)