It should come as no surprise that to anyone that we would review the Talkspace app. For those of you unfamiliar with the app, it advertises itself as an all in one therapy app and its commercials feature olympic champion Michels phelps.
While I applaud Michael Phelps for bringing attention to people struggling with mental health issues, reports circulated online that Michael Phelps does not even use the app. If true, would be very misleading and should be disclosed either way. This does not discount the bravery of Michael Phelps admitting to struggling with anxiety and depression. He has brought a lot of much needed attention to mental health issues and is only helping to reduce/eliminate the stigma. For this, I can not applaud him more.
As for the app. The user interface is very intuitive and makes on boarding a breeze. This is a must as far as I am concerned because people who are not extremely tech savvy become anxious, nervous, etc. about incorporating new technologies into their lives. The focus on making this app very easy alleviates much of that stress.
While the on boarding process is very easy I found the service to actually be very average. Therapists often times respond with short platitudes such as “focus on the positive” and “I can see how that could be overwhelming.” Combine this with the lack of personal touch and I quickly came to the realization that this is not for me.
The personal connection one develops with a therapist is a large determining factor in one’s success. To me, a good therapist creates a safe space in their office. Walking into the safe space allows me to open up and share very personal things. No matter what Talkspace does there is really no way to replicate the idea of a safe space or create the warm personal connection generated by therapists like Jonathan Levy LCSW.
On the topic of safe places. The underlying promise of technology is to make things easier on people. With a young family at home, I find it extremely difficult to find a “safe” quiet place to utilize the app to its fullest. Some people may dislike commuting to their therapists office, but at least once you arrive it is quiet and calm. The atmosphere at a good therapist is hard to replicate, especially in the ultra connected world we live in today.
When we asked therapist like Jonathan Levy LCSW their thoughts on the app you can imagine their skepticism. One thing that was pointed out is that the success of mental health services relies heavily on the timing. The sooner someone can get help the better their chances of getting better. The app undeniably succeeds in this regard. Often times it can take several weeks before a therapist can see you. The value of Talkspace in bridging that gap is like nothing else.
In closing, I find the real value of an app like Talkspace in bringing the gap of time between visiting your therapist visits. I often times like getting something off my chest in between therapy sessions and this app is perfect for that. It also allows those in immediate need to access a therapist that ability and this my friends is the the real power of this app.
I will still maintain a relationship with my traditional therapist. Thats for sure. Talkspace will allow me to exhaust in between sessions. Normally I would bottle that stuff up and take it with me to my next session. The ability to contact someone in real time is a value add that not even Jonathan Levy LCSW can deny.
About Jonathan Levy LCSW. Jonathan Levy LCSW is an experienced Chicago therapist, counselor, and life coach. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Smith College. He is the Marketing Coordinator and co-founder of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago. Jonathan Levy LCSW has tremendous success helping patients and most attribute his success to his warm touch and friendly demeanor.
About Anthony Davian: Anthony Davian is a former Cleveland Ohio hedge fund manager better known as hedgieguy. He founded and ran his hedge fund firm Davian Capital Advisors from 2007–2013. He was educated in accounting at The University Akron and was involved in numerous start-ups in a variety of roles. He currently provides consulting services to start-ups.