In recent years, we have seen a rising awareness of mental illness, which has helped reduce the stigma often associated with it and made it easier for people in need to get the help they deserve. While there is more acceptance now than ever before, the situation is not ideal. The stigma that still exists around the topic of mental illness causes many people to be afraid to get help. Even those who do try to seek help may not have access to the professionals who provide treatment. Some experts estimate that as much as half of those who suffer from mental illnesses are not currently receiving treatment for their issues. Several innovations in recent years have made access to certain healthcare services easier, more convenient, and more affordable, which has allowed more individuals to access these necessary services. Companies like Talkspace, an online mental healthcare provider, have stepped up to help bridge the gap between patients and providers.
Companies like Talkspace open up mental health services to millions of people who, for various reasons, previously couldn’t seek treatment. It’s a new, technologically-driven way to expand the availability of healthcare to those who live in rural areas or are too busy to make it to appointments at a brick-and-mortar establishment. They also provide an affordable alternative for those who don’t have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t effectively cover this type of treatment. Services like these provide mental health treatment for people with a wide range of issues, and the interface allows for real-time video or text-based communication with a therapist. Many have already used these services and sing their praises, as they give people the help they need with a unique and convenient interface. Many providers like Talkspace offer a variety of innovative treatment and therapy options.
While many people have tried and loved this type of mental healthcare provider, there are still many more who are wary of the process. It makes sense that people are skeptical of something so different from traditional therapy, which typically involves sitting across from a therapist and having a face-to-face conversation. However, technological advancements like video calls make face-to-face treatment possible even from a distance.
There are, of course, things you should keep in mind when looking for a high quality, online mental healthcare provider. In this article, we’ll discuss how to pick the best online therapist for your needs. We will also discuss the experiences of people who have taken advantage of these tech-based mental healthcare solutions.
What to Look For in an Online Mental Healthcare Provider
In recent years, many online healthcare services have popped up. These are attractive, though widely varied, services that provide a range of treatment options for those suffering from common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. However, not all of these services are equally beneficial. It’s important to look at the credentials of the service providers. You want to make sure that you’re getting the help of trained and licensed therapists who will provide solid, stable, and reliable services for your needs.
The first step is to do your homework. You should be able to track down the qualifications, educational history, and licensing of any potential therapist. Another excellent way to gauge the skills of a provider is to look at reviews from those who have sought and used the services. It’s important to choose a service provider with therapists that are familiar with and comfortable treating your specific issue. Many therapists will list their areas of emphasis or specialties, which will help you choose the right therapist for your unique situation. Some services connect you specifically with a therapist based on preferences you provide. You may also want a provider with flexible availability or one who gives you options to customize your experience.
Service providers like Talkspace are staffed with only the most skilled and well-trained therapists who have the skills and experience to assist patients with a wide variety of different issues. The therapists are all licensed and highly educated in their field. Most are available with flexible scheduling and offer their services through a number of different types of interface, whether you prefer text-based, video, or or video and audio message.
The Perks of Online Mental Healthcare Services
A lot of people would like to get help with their mental health needs but, for whatever reason, don’t. Perhaps they’re busy, live in a rural area, or have a medical condition that makes leaving the house difficult. These are barriers to getting the help that one needs and are what makes services like Talkspace so valuable.
Talkspace offers a flexible variety of treatment options that do not require insurance and are a fraction of the cost of traditional brick-and-mortar therapists. With Talkspace, you can send unlimited text-based messages. This is incredibly affordable compared to traditional services that charge this or more for a single session.
These services are also incredibly flexible, which is a huge perk for those who don’t have a lot of free time. You can plan your appointments around your schedule instead of around the schedule of your therapist. For full-time students, professionals, and parents, this is a huge perk, as it makes therapy accessible even with a busy schedule.
Another advantage of online therapy is the enhanced level of security, since all of your exchanges are completely secure and confidential. Talkspace guarantees privacy of all your information and data and, unlike a brick-and-mortar establishment, you never even have to be seen entering a therapist’s office. For some people, especially those who are surrounded by those who might stigmatize them, this is a huge relief and gives them safe and private access to the treatment they need.
How Does the Process Work?
For many people, the idea of online therapy is an attractive option, but many don’t know how it works in practice. How is communication initiated? How do you choose a therapist? What is the process like? Here, we’ll attempt to answer these questions with the guidance of 500,000 patients that currently use the services of these high-quality online therapists.
Talkspace is available as an application for Android and iOS, and is also accessible by computer. You can access your account across multiple devices, allowing you to use whatever means of communication is most convenient at any given time. Once you have the app and have signed up for the plan of your choice, a matching agent contacts you. A matching agent is a licensed therapist who helps familiarize you with the process, answers any questions you may have, and evaluates whether online therapy is a good solution for you. It is this first meeting that allows you to learn the details of how the app works and how you can get in touch with your therapist. This initial talk is where a lot of the groundwork for future therapy is laid. It allows the consulting therapist to get a feel for you and your background and the issues you are struggling with. It also gives you the opportunity to feel out the process and decide if it’s right for you. After this initial meeting, you are paired with a therapist to meet your specific needs.
This process is one of the huge perks of Talkspace when compared to traditional therapy. When you go the traditional route, it is up to you to find the right therapist, which often requires a lot of trial and error. With this service, a licensed therapist helps guide you through the process, picking the right therapist for your needs based on the information you provide. This helps ensure that you get paired with a therapist you will be comfortable with and who can provide the guidance and assistance your particular issues require.
Typically, within 24 hours of providing this initial information, your primary therapist will contact you. A bit of back and forth between you and your primary therapist begins as they start getting to know you. This helps the therapist get a feel for you and the troubles you are dealing with, while also allowing you to get to know your therapist, their personality, and therapy style.
What many who use Talkspace report is how detailed and thoughtful the interaction they get with their primary therapist is. It can be a bit nerve wracking to pour your heart out via text, but the responses are often enough to put any fears to rest. The careful responses show that these are dedicated professionals who are truly listening to your thoughts, concerns, challenges and feelings.
There are many people who are, reasonably, skeptical about the value and utility of online therapy. For the hundreds of thousands of users of Talkspace, most find that the benefits far outweigh any limitations this form of therapy might entail. It is affordable and opens access to people who don’t have insurance or for whom the costs of traditional therapy are more than they can afford. It is an excellent way for people who live in rural areas or are incredibly busy to obtain the care they need on their schedule. The efforts taken to match patients with the best therapist for their needs is another huge advantage of services like Talkspace. Rather than being tasked with finding your own therapist, the unique matching process takes all the hassle and guesswork out of the selection process.
Patients also report how much they appreciate the flexibility of this type of therapy, since it allows you to access your primary therapist from any number of different devices, anytime, from anywhere. It also allows you to choose between different methods of communication, depending on your preferences and specific circumstances. It should be noted that this type of mental healthcare may not be the most ideal for someone in a crisis situation but, even during times of struggle when you might need more guidance, online therapists can provide high-quality, invaluable services to the people who need them.
And, of course, these services are available at affordable prices and do not require patients to have private health insurance. Whereas traditional therapy often requires hundreds of dollars per session, these online service providers have different plans allowing more or less access depending on your needs, and you can access unlimited services at roughly half what the least expensive traditional therapist charges.