Therapy Helped Me: Be Myself

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


When I stop to think about the role of therapy in my life, it is not difficult to realize how essential it was for me to become the person I am today. I met my current therapist five years ago when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. I had panic attacks and could barely get out of the house, so my therapy sessions were the only time I socialized with anyone — and it was like that for a few months.

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Therapy Helped Me

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


Many of us are aware of therapy and its positive benefits. Maybe you read Freud in college, are familiar with portrayals of therapists from film or TV, or see negative stories about a celebrity’s mental health on tabloid covers in the supermarket checkout aisle. What you hear less often are the stories of therapy’s profound effects on those who try it and the unexpectedly life-changing ways it can improve well-being, regardless of your challenges.

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5 Reasons Online Therapy is Right For You

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Online therapy is proven to be as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face therapy, with important benefits that bring the experience into the modern era. For some, traditional therapy is their choice because they haven’t yet experienced the freedom that online therapy offers.

If you’re on the fence about whether online therapy is right for you, consider these positive benefits.

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Free Online Therapy: Understanding Therapy vs. Free Counseling

Woman on couch with hands open, talking to a therapist

Online therapy is fast becoming the norm for those seeking therapy on their own terms. A recent study found online therapy to be as effective as face-to-face (FTF) therapy in treating major mental health challenges like anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms. The same study regards online therapy as a “treatment for the future.”

When evaluating online therapy options, there are many avenues to take depending on your mental health challenges. The first avenue should always be to seek professional help — self-diagnosis can be a dangerous game. Therapy remains the next best step, and in exploring online therapy options, you may encounter offers claiming “free” online therapy.

Continue reading Free Online Therapy: Understanding Therapy vs. Free Counseling

Better Mental Health for All

Children smiling and giving the peace sign

This year’s message for World Health Day was “Health For All.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “at least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services.” Their goal is to see one billion more people given access to full health care services by 2023.

While Talkspace’s mission has always been “Therapy For All,” we’re actively championing an even more universal goal across the globe: “Better Mental Health For All,”. This includes campaigning for mental health coverage as part of universal health care, and being an active part of the important conversation around mental health.

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Therapy for All

smiling young asian woman in hat using text therapy

Therapy for all isn’t simply a slogan. It isn’t just a philosophy. Therapy for all is an imperative. Mental illness is a global health problem and, in the United States specifically, 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental illness in a given year. Look around you: I’d hazard a guess that one person in your direct vicinity has dealt with a mental health challenge in the past year.

In fact, a recent study by psychology researchers Aaron Reuben and Jonathan Schaefer has shown that we are more likely to experience a bout of mental illness than we are to develop diabetes, heart disease, or any kind of cancer. And yet it’s far more common (and, yes, culturally acceptable) to fear eating too much sugar and fat than it is to consider the possibility of seeking out mental health care.

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Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

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Near the end of each year most of us are chomping at the bit, anxiously awaiting some much-needed downtime. As business slows down and responsibilities wane, people look forward to much-needed rest and rejuvenation. This break is also an opportunity to finally unplug.

There’s a lot of emerging research on the effects of technology use on our collective mental health, but what’s most important to understand about technology is how ubiquitous connectivity can exacerbate worry, fear, sadness and a host of other emotions. If unchecked, this effect could contribute to mental fatigue. Continue reading Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

Are Body Language and Tone Necessary for Therapy to Be Effective?

woman walking outside holing smartphone texting

Now that purely text-based therapy has taken off and has a growing number of studies backing its efficacy, mental health professionals and researchers are debating whether psychotherapy needs body language and tone to produce results. To compare the effectiveness of texting therapy with other mediums, the psychological community needs to think about what treatment outcomes are most important. As the practice of therapy has evolved, so has its priorities.

For many decades psychotherapy had only one format: a therapist and client in a room. Despite the requirement for both parties to be in the same physical space — within viewing distance — the early days of mental health counseling did not utilize body language to its full potential. Many patients lay on a couch and faced in the opposite direction of their therapists. To act as a “blank screen,” practitioners of psychoanalysis participated minimally in sessions and encouraged their patients to speak as much as possible. Continue reading Are Body Language and Tone Necessary for Therapy to Be Effective?

How a Legendary Psychiatrist Became a Supporter of Text Therapy

irvin-yalom-headshot-text-therapy-feature_1320W_JR (1)

Even the most wise and open-minded professionals in the world sometimes have a skeptical or critical perception of new developments in their field. Several years ago Talkspace co-founders Oren and Roni Frank reached out to renowned psychiatrist Irvin Yalom to discuss their texting therapy platform and invite Yalom to become an official clinical advisor. His initial reaction to the new medium was not positive.

Yalom contributed to the approach of existential psychotherapy and was a pioneer in group therapy. As a therapist and professor, he spent decades working with clients in-person. He wrote “Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy,” a book that chronicled some of his traditional counseling sessions with patients who were grappling with issues of existence and death.

Far from a technology enthusiast or early adopter, Yalom had been resistant to forms of therapy that were not strictly in-person, including phone and video-based sessions. In his memoir, “Becoming Myself,” he admitted to being judgmental and priggish when one of his colleagues mentioned she had been practicing teletherapy. Continue reading How a Legendary Psychiatrist Became a Supporter of Text Therapy

How Online Therapy Can Help You Reach Your Goals

mountain checkpoints paper airplane illustration

John was having trouble managing his impulses. Whether it was blurting out vulgar language during a dinner with his girlfriend’s parents or crossing a line and insulting his boss in the middle of a meeting, he was constantly getting in trouble. To advance in his career and maintain a healthy relationship, he needed to change. Eventually he decided to set a goal: control what was coming out of his mouth.

This strategy failed miserably. John realized that the goal was vague and there was no one to help him reach it. It did not seem fair to burden his girlfriend and co-workers with his behavior. He needed the help of a neutral party but wasn’t sure where to find one.

One of the biggest benefits of therapy is working with a professional you are paying to help set goals that are realistic and measurable. A therapist keeps clients accountable and pushes them to pursue what they want. Continue reading How Online Therapy Can Help You Reach Your Goals