The emergence of online therapy providers like Talkspace means expanded mental health access to a growing segment of the population. Individuals who would have benefited from therapy in the past but citied time and stigma as barriers to conversation and treatment, see new hope in outfits like Talkspace. Along with the rise of remote counseling and other treatments comes a rise in mental health providers who are choosing to step away from brick and mortar and instead practice their healing arts in the home setting. Other providers look to outfits like Talkspace as venues for expanding their engagements with clients outside of the “9-5 Day Job” of their private practice.
A Day in the Life
For Talkspace provider Melissa Moreno, the balancing act of coordinating parenting and her work with clients begins at 5:45 am. “Morning comes so quickly,” notes Moreno, “I am usually pretty motivated in the beginning of the week, but by Friday I may be hitting the snooze button and rolling out of bed by 6:00 a.m.” Like many of her colleagues engaged in providing therapeutic care to clients, Moreno recognizes that her mental health must be optimized if she is going to be at her best with clients. “Sometimes, before even getting out of the bed, I start my morning with a few minutes of mindfulness, gratitude, and breathing exercises. I then go on Talkspace to begin answering my clients. From there, I go on Slack to post on the assigned channel and fulfill my duties as a Crisis Intervention Expert.”
In addition to providing much needed counsel to her clients, Moreno is deeply committed to the title “mom,” and all the responsibility that comes with the role. From 6:45 am until she steps out of the door with her son before 7:30 am, Moreno is managing breakfast, homework, grooming, and her own self-care. The extended family of fish, dog, and turtle also receive some of Moreno’s generous attention. When she isn’t working with Talkspace clients, Moreno supports adolescents at a brick-and-mortar treatment facility, while also providing supervision to counseling students. “My life is definitely busy and I love it,” says Moreno, “It amazes me how much I can really accomplish, and how I can help improve many people’s quality of life by being personally focused, organized, and taking care of myself.” Passing on many of the techniques that work for her to her Talkspace clients, Moreno practices what she preaches. “I work well in fast-paced, crisis environments and use those same skills to manage a multitude of personal and professional projects, finding motivation and drive by doing more.”
Stepping Into the “Waiting Room” with Talkspace
For Talkspace therapist Samantha White, the daily routine begins with a lovely interaction with nature. “I awaken to a chorus of birds chirping, singing riotously, endlessly. The windows are closed and we don’t have any pet birds, but for the first minute or so I believe I am hearing the lovely music of birds in the treetops. Eventually I remember that it’s the ringtone of my iPhone, and I roll over and hit “Snooze.” This happens a few more times until I’m ready to put my feet on the floor, sit up on the bed, and admire the view through the wall-to-wall window of palm trees and sky.”
White, who’s managed issues like arthritis and COPD for years, is especially equipped to talk with women confronting hardships in life. “I learned about psychotherapy when my world fell apart and I needed to be held up,” notes White, adding “Friends and family could help only so much.” Reflecting on those extremely difficult days in her life, White says that therapy saved her life and gradually opened the door for a fruitful, second career. From her “treehouse” perch (a wonderfully appointed living room), White steps into the digital “waiting room” on the Talkspace platform by 9 am every morning to support her grateful clients. “I love this work I do. All my life, I’ve wanted to help people find their way out of unhappiness. I read books about girls and women who were accomplished in the arts of healing, educating, and communicating. I started writing poetry when I was seven. I also wanted to be a doctor, to heal and comfort and inform people. I didn’t know there was a field called “psychotherapy.” If I had known about it, it’s what I would have aimed for at the start, rather than as a midlife career change.” Midlife or not, the timing has been just right for White who will typically spend several hours a day supporting her clients. Bolstered by a supportive husband, healthy diet, and a consistent exercise routine, White is providing invaluable support to Talkspace clients looking for a strong path and good tools for moving forward.
A Strong Team Makes the Difference
Talkspace’s gifted team of providers balance life, family, and selfcare with a healthy desire to make a positive impact in clients’ lives. The model works. With quality care available and accessible to those who may have avoided “brick-and-mortar” practices in the past, lives are changed and communities become healthier