3 Therapists Open Up About Why They Work for Talkspace

Talkspace therapists headshots

Psychotherapists are sometimes skeptical about online therapy. Some of the concerns stem from the medium itself. They imagine that it’s difficult to build relationships online, that the lack of body language limits its effectiveness, that tone and nuance are lost in communication. Other concerns center around hours of availability, fear about managing emergencies, or about licensing restrictions.

The vast majority of therapists, however, are interested in embracing new technologies — tools that help them be more data-driven, more available, and better able to track client progress. They’re passionate about how technology can empower their practice, but worry about using it in a safe way that doesn’t endanger their clients’ privacy or expose them to undue liability, as communicating via SMS, email, or Skype does.

Talkspace is one of the technologies helping therapists reach new clients — a HIPAA certified platform that provides a more convenient therapy experience for clients and therapists, one that employs banking-grade encryption and is fully compliant with state licensing regulations. Talkspace also has strict protocols in place to handle emergency situations, including an on-staff Crisis Intervention Expert, continual client risk assessments, and a secure on-platform tool to capture emergency contact information. Talkspace therapists typically set their own flexible hours and reply to clients twice daily on business days.

Expanding one’s practice means helping more people in need, increasing access to vital mental health care, and decreasing stigma. Talkspace helps clinicians reach people from all walks of life — who may have never experienced the benefits of therapy — on a flexible schedule. With options for live video chat, the capability to send video and audio, and a text format that allows clients read through the transcripts of interactions with their therapist — a sort of therapy logbook — many clients feel they develop a deeper sense of connection with their online therapist than through brick-and-mortar therapy. Above all, it provides evidence-based quality of care that meets people where they are: in digital spaces.

We spoke with three therapists about why they decided to work for Talkspace, what attracted them initially, and how they’ve found the experience since they began working.

Reaching More People, More Securely

Marci Payne, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri
Talkspace Provider since February 2016
Has helped 48 clients with Talkspace

Initially I was skeptical about working with clients solely via text-based therapy. But I wanted to reach more people who lived outside of my area, travelled for work or were homebound, recovering from surgery.

I had been trying to launch an online therapy service on my own but wasn’t reaching many people. When I found out Talkspace had a secure platform for working with clients, I decided to check it out.

Together clients and therapists are trying something new: using technology to overcome barriers to participate in counseling services. I feel like I took a risk in trying something new and am helping pioneer a new resource for people who want to consult a licensed mental health professional.

As they would in an office setting, people do experience personal growth via working with a counselor online. I am no longer a skeptic.

Safe Care To Those In Need, On My Schedule

Pamela Hayes, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California
Talkspace Provider since February 2016
Has helped 98 people at Talkspace

Staying on top of innovative psychology and technology is critical to me. When I first read about Talkspace, my first thought was, “This is an important shift in mental health services, and I want to be a part of it.” I have been facilitating webinars and online therapy and supervision for almost 10 years, so being involved in Talkspace made sense to me.

In addition to my work at Talkspace, I travel throughout the world facilitating seminars and workshops on Art Therapy. Talkspace fits into my schedule. I can stay connected to my clients while I am in a hotel or on the airplane, and they do not have to wait a week or more for me to return to my office in Los Angeles.

As a therapist, a parent, and a person, I have experienced the limitations the traditional mental health field has created. It can be expensive, inconvenient, and can carry a stigma.

Talkspace has removed all those aspects and retained the essential component of one-on-one, personalized therapy from experienced and licensed therapists. I am proud to be a part of that.

I am excited to be working with people from all over the world who may not have access to the specific type of therapist they need. I feel good knowing my clients on Talkspace can reach out to me when they need to, and not have to wait a week or more to express their concerns.

Technology’s Leading Edge That Maintains Personalized Care

Marla Harrity, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California
Talkspace Provider since April 2017
Has helped 32 people at Talkspace

Is that some kind pseudoscience, I thought after first hearing about the concept of online therapy many years ago. Certainly genuineness and unconditional positive regard are foundational elements for any therapeutic relationship. How would that translate to the virtual world?

I first became intrigued by the idea of increased flexibility that online therapy would allow for my schedule. Talkspace embraces the “anywhere, anytime” mentality not just for clients, but for therapists as well. Being in an on-demand world, I was initially concerned about boundaries and balancing my personal and professional life without the four protective walls of a therapy suite. Expectations for immediacy, and quick responses, seem to increase all the time. But I learned that client accessibility is not to be confused with dependence or demand. Instead, clients build independence on Talkspace by being able to track thoughts and log messages throughout the day, allowing for more time for consideration and deeper reflection as they share.

Talkspace is committed to the idea of making therapy accessible to all — something I’ve been committed to in my own practice. For the young woman on medical bed rest, the agoraphobic man too afraid to leave his home, the single mom who is tight on money, and the business professional who can’t commit to a weekly appointment — making the trip to the therapist’s office can be difficult. I’ve heard this from clients and seen it in via cancelled appointments. I’ve always worked under the principle of “meeting clients where they’re at.” True therapeutic growth comes when clients feel comfortable and I’ve found that Talkspace allows users to build an authentic and trusting relationship. All it takes is for us to reimagine what that therapy room looks like.

I’ve shaken myself from the one-dimensional structure of what therapy used to be and have expanded my approach to therapy into an online platform. Staying at the forefront of our field is important to me, and I’ve been able to embrace that challenge with Talkspace.

Hear what Dr. Irvin Yalom has to say about the benefits of using technology to help more clients and increase access to mental health care on our Join Talkspace page!

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