It's been a tough year for everyone, and I was no exception. After months stuck at home, I was feeling kind of blue. I'd find myself staring at the ceiling at three in the morning, catastrophizing, but I was still managing to hold it together.
Or so I thought. One day my friend Sarah stopped me in the middle of one of my monologues and gently informed me that I'd been hogging our weekly Zoom sessions with my personal issues. And the sad thing was nothing was changing - I wasn't progressing in any way. She suggested that I talk with a professional.
Therapy?! The only time I'd tried therapy was when I was in college. I'd broken up with my boyfriend during exams and went into a spiral of anxiety and sadness. The only available therapist from mental health services handed me a pamphlet about emotions. I didn't go back for the second session.
I decided to give it another chance, but my local mental health clinic was flooded with people in need of help. The soonest I could get an assessment was two weeks! I mean, emotions can't be scheduled.
Then I remembered those ads on the train for some kind of online therapy. A quick trip to Google led me to Talkspace.
I was dubious. Online therapy sounded about as effective as taking swimming lessons by mail. But I couldn't keep sinking.
I had to admit that Talkspace sounded pretty good. With thousands of 5-star reviews, they must be doing something right. But how good could their therapists be if they're treating people online?
Talkspace's national network features thousands of licensed therapists who, on average, have 9 years of experience as professional mental health care providers. Not only that, they've been carefully vetted and trained to use Talkspace's particular therapy platform. Their expert therapists have a range of specialties and approaches.
I felt like I was finally getting somewhere, but wouldn't this go better in person? When I compared the two modalities, I saw that the only upside to traditional therapy is the in-office visits.
It's also the downside. What if I needed to deal with something major outside of office hours? Talkspace has that covered. I can send unlimited text, audio, picture, and video messages to my therapist from a web browser or the Talkspace mobile app with guaranteed response 5 days/week. And, once registered, a same-day start!
That sold me. So, after answering some questions about myself and why I was seeking therapy, I created an account. Talkspace helped me find my match by suggesting 3 therapists to choose from. The clincher for me was that there's a refresh option: I can choose a new therapist if the one I select doesn't meet my needs.
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I chose a woman who was licensed in my state and had a decade of clinical experience. I couldn't wait to focus in on my basic wellness.
I was nervous that this could break my bank and waste my time. But when I looked through the procedure, prices, and payments, I discovered that Talkspace is a subscription service with a number of options. I can customize my treatment any way I like.
Plans range from $65 to $100 per week, and I can cancel my plan anytime. Just think, one session of traditional in-person therapy can run $150+, so Talkspace is a very economical choice.
Also, Talkspace works with many employers, health plans, and employee assistance programs (EAP) to make therapy available and affordable for everyone.
My final concern was privacy. I was stressing that my most sensitive and personal information could be out there on the internet for hackers to exploit. I was relieved to learn that Talkspace's platform is not only HIPAA-compliant, it utilizes encrypted banking-grade, industry standard technology to safeguard private information and ensure confidentiality.
In other words, whatever I shared with my new therapist stays between the two of us.
Talkspace has been so grounding for me. In my first session, I found my therapist to be a perfect match. She's compassionate, informed, positive, and dedicated to helping me address my issues in such a focused way that I'm actually changing behavioral patterns that no longer work for me.
Because neither of us are tied to a once-or-twice-a-week in-person session, I can deal with things as they come up. On weekdays, they even respond within 24 hours! I simply send a text. No waiting for an appointment. I get the help I need when I need it.
You can, too.