“Peek into A Day in the Life of a Talkspace Therapist”
Talkspace is a therapy platform that offers its users access to licensed therapists online and via mobile devices. Founded by Oren and Roni Frank in 2012, the company is based in New York City, and it makes therapy as well as counseling as convenient, affordable and discreet as possible. It has over one million users.
So what exactly is online therapy? According to the Talkspace website, “With online therapy, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office – and for significantly less money than traditional therapy.” They also write that online therapy is “the delivery of mental health counseling via the Internet.” It is often referred to as e-therapy, distance therapy, internet therapy as well as web therapy. Users are connected to therapists and online therapy networks who use several different mediums – including apps for texting, video chats, voice as well as audio messaging – to offer counseling. While the term ‘online therapy’ may seem less personal at first, several studies have highlighted the efficacy of therapy via the internet, so much so that it has become a viable alternative as well as supplement to the in-office setting.
Talkspace makes it possible for its users to get the help they need from any device, and the platform uses banking-grade encryption that keeps the user-therapist interaction safe and confidential. The Talkspace therapy paradigm involves several easy steps. The users first go through an assessment whereby they get connected with a matching therapist who will help pair them with a therapist who will meet their therapy needs and with whom they will text whenever is convenient for them. Matching is followed by choosing the appropriate payment plan, after which therapy can begin. For the duration of the treatment, therapists typically respond 1 – 2 times a day, 5 days per week.
Talkspace prides itself on the quality of all of its licensed therapists. The online platform includes many resources for its users, including a blog that includes pieces about the ‘typical days’ of Talkspace therapists and what their daily routines look like. By providing insight into their therapists’ daily routines, users have a chance to enhance the relationship with their therapist even further. According to Talkspace, therapist stories “illustrate the joys and challenges of dedicating one’s life to helping others improve their mental health, and cope with mental illness.”
One of the Talkspace therapists, Melissa Moreno, reports starting her day at 5:45am and ending it at 10pm (though she’s not on the clock for all of those hours). She writes that she typically wakes up without an alarm clock and starts her morning with a few minutes of mindfulness, gratitude and breathing exercises after which she attends to her Talkspace clients and answers their questions and concerns. She then attends to her son and gets ready for work. During her regular 9-5, she is a Facility Director at a non-secure program for adolescent boys, whereby she implements two treatment models, Sanctuary and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). “My day consists of providing clinical supervision, overseeing program compliance, crisis intervention, and behavior/ program modification. I spend a lot of time attending trainings about Sanctuary and DBT,” Moreno reports. “I love working with adolescents and find them naturally so hopeful. Despite facing many struggles in life, they still have so much ahead of them and the opportunity to improve,” she adds. She checks into Talkspace at 5:30pm, which is followed by several tasks at home as well as the gym until 8:30pm, after which she checks in again. At 10pm, she begins her “me time,” catching up on TV shows or books or simply falls asleep. She writes that she loves her life and that she is amazed at how much she gets accomplished every day.
Another Talkspace therapist that shared her daily routine is Samantha White, author of the award-winning memoir, Someone To Talk To: Finding Peace, Purpose, and Joy after Tragedy and Loss, and a retired psychotherapist whose daily routine is much different from Moreno’s. Samantha begins her day at 7:30am and ends it at around 11pm. “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’,” she writes for the Talkspace blog. She is typically back from her morning walk at 8:30am, after which she attends to her Talkspace clients all morning. She then makes afternoon rounds again at 3:30pm and enjoys some free time until dinner at 7pm. At 9pm, she unwinds. She writes that she focuses on watching happy shows, in particular true stories that have happy endings as a counterbalance to her work life that is focused on ameliorating people’s struggles. She reports that it is not always easy for her to fall asleep, so she focuses on thinking about all the things she has accomplished that day. Ultimately, “I fall asleep smiling, happy with my life, looking forward to tomorrow,” she writes.
By allowing their users to peek into the lives of Talkspace therapists, the platform not only adds an additional personal touch to the experience, but also enables users to see that therapists are humans, too, with personal struggles they themselves face and overcome on a daily. As such, the blog serves as kind of therapy in and of itself, to remind users they are not alone.