In-person therapy can be incredibly effective for a variety of people and conditions. But it’s not always necessarily convenient.
That’s why the people behind Talkspace thought they could use technology to connect patients with therapists in a more convenient way.
The service, which was founded by Roni and Oren Frank in 2012, charges users $25 per week for unlimited access to a therapist for therapy via text message. There’s also a new couple’s therapy service that costs $149 per month.
Investors are certainly taking notice of the service. Spark Capital and SoftBank recently led a successful round of funding, bringing the startup’s total to $13 million. Alex Finkelstein, general partner at Spark Capital told CNN:
“There’s a massive need for therapy on-demand. You could be in the middle of an eating disorder episode, or a marriage dispute, and you can literally be communicating with your therapist in minutes.”
Aside from offering a convenient way for people to connect with therapists, Talkspace is also pretty cost-effective, at least compared to traditional therapy.
And since cost can often be a deterrent for people who might otherwise seek therapy, the hope is that this type of service might encourage more people to seek help with mental health issues.
Another deterrent that goes along with the traditional therapy process is the intimidating nature of face-to-face meetings. Clearly, Talkspace’s therapy via text message service also eliminates that hurdle. Roni Frank told CNN:
“It’s always easier to text. It feels so normal. There is a healthy distance when you are texting.”
Some people may very well still prefer the more traditional in-person therapy methods. But Talkspace offers an alternative that could entice many customers who wouldn’t have otherwise sought out therapy.
Talkspace currently has about 200 licensed professionals working in its network, mostly part-time. And it has about 100,000 users. Thanks to its relatively low price tag, convenience and low intimidation factor, the company could very well see those numbers continue to grow.