Talkspace Therapists Weigh in on Data-Driven Therapy

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The verdict is in: Therapy is becoming more data-driven. Because of advancements in psychology metrics and the gradual spread of feedback-informed treatment [FIT], an increasing number of therapists are relying on data to improve their performance and clinical outcomes. There is already evidence that using data can decrease the number of clients who leave therapy or see a deterioration in their mental health.

But with some advances in a field comes resistance, criticism, anxiety, skepticism, division, and debate. The majority of in-person therapists do not use FIT or any formal system of data in their work. Some believe data has no place in something as artful, personal, and private as therapy. Every client and therapeutic relationship is different, so therapists are often not confident in the ability of data to account for this variance.

At Talkspace we are at the forefront of data-driven and online therapy. We frequently survey clients and use the anonymous feedback to work with their therapists to improve the quality of treatment. Nonetheless, we understand the perspectives of therapists who are weary of big data’s role in therapy.

To start a positive and productive dialogue about the role of data in therapy, we sent our therapists this article about data-driven therapy. We asked them to read and respond with comments and constructive criticisms regarding the use of data and FIT in therapy. Continue reading Talkspace Therapists Weigh in on Data-Driven Therapy

Traveling with Depression: How I Should Have Prepared

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Mental health can be a journey. Journeying while struggling with mental health challenges, however, can be almost impossible.

In 2015 I traveled to Puno, Peru, to work on a research project as a part of my graduate degree in international public health. Before enrolling in the degree program, I had spent the better part of the previous two years traveling and living abroad in some capacity and was excited to have the opportunity to travel as a part of my career.

As my departure date to Peru creeped closer, I started seeing a therapist at the university health center to talk about concerns I had about traveling. I had experienced acute depression that year for the first time and was nervous it would creep back in while I was in a low-resource setting abroad. My in-person therapist told me many students feel this way before completing fieldwork abroad and I would be fine to push through.

I didn’t want my fears around my mental health to stop me from traveling. I wanted to be “strong.” So off I flew to Puno. Continue reading Traveling with Depression: How I Should Have Prepared

How Therapy Can Help People Cope With Terminal Illnesses

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When people have a terminal illness and are journeying through their final days, they need lots of love and support from friends and family. Sometimes this isn’t enough, though.

Loved ones don’t necessarily have the skills or time to help someone come to terms with mortality. They might not know how to assist in making meaning of life as it is coming to an end.

This is when a psychotherapist or grief counselor can be invaluable. These mental health professionals have the skills to make patients and their loved ones as comfortable as possible during the end of a terminal illness. Continue reading How Therapy Can Help People Cope With Terminal Illnesses

Online vs. Traditional Therapy: The Pros and Cons

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The online vs. traditional therapy debate is on! As more people try the computer and smartphone over the couch, both mental health professionals and therapy-goers are discussing the pros and cons.

Online therapy is not trying to replace traditional therapy, but it is a better fit for millions of people. To decide which is best for you — whether you are a potential client or therapist — try weighing the pros and cons in the context of your life.

Continue reading Online vs. Traditional Therapy: The Pros and Cons

My Journey, as a Therapist, from In-Person to Online Therapy at Talkspace

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Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC and Talkspace Therapist

When I first heard about the idea of online counseling, I was skeptical. Talk therapy has a well-known reputation for being an in-person experience. You call and search for a therapist, and anxiously wait to meet with them in their office waiting room for the first session.

Their voice sounded nice on the phone, but you still aren’t sure what to make of them. Are they genuine? Are they the right match for you?

With online counseling you might also wonder: Could this be as effective as in-person therapy?

I’ve been a provider on the Talkspace platform for almost two years now and I admit I came in with a lot of trepidation about meeting clients on the platform. Could I be effective in this medium? Continue reading My Journey, as a Therapist, from In-Person to Online Therapy at Talkspace

How Online Therapy Helps Mental Health Professionals Prevent Suicide

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Trigger Warning/Note: Suicide is an uncomfortable topic, but we have a responsibility to discuss it. By informing people of any and all methods of preventing suicide, we can spread awareness and help mental health professionals save lives.

People who are having suicidal thoughts need frequent care to ensure they don’t reach the point of attempting suicide. Online therapy can help prevent suicide by providing this kind of care, according to therapist testimonies and clinical studies, including this one published in JAMA Psychiatry.

When Talkspace therapist Katherine Glick worked with a client who was having suicidal thoughts, the daily contact online therapy offered was crucial. Continue reading How Online Therapy Helps Mental Health Professionals Prevent Suicide

How Talkspace Keeps Your Data Safe, Secure and Private

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When people work toward a happier life by sharing their secrets with an online therapist, they deserve to know their information is safe, secure and private. At Talkspace, security is a top priority.

Hundreds of thousands of people use our platform to send messages they only want their therapist to see. It’s our job to protect that information.

Keep reading to learn how we protect your messages from hackers and other security threats. It will give you peace of mind so you can communicate with your therapist without worrying about other people accessing your data. Continue reading How Talkspace Keeps Your Data Safe, Secure and Private

Have You Heard of Neurocounseling?

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The Counseling Program at Bradley University produced this infographic to spread awareness about neurocounseling.

With the help of brain imaging technology, researchers are developing a better understanding of how mental illnesses have a basis in our brains. This knowledge is reshaping how we define and diagnose many conditions. One field of counseling is using this knowledge to shape treatment plans.

This emerging field is called neurocounseling. Psychologists are effectively using it to treat people with depression, seizures, ADHD, sleep disorders and a broad range of other mental health problems.

Because our brains are developing and creating new neural pathways well into adulthood — a concept called neuroplasticity — clinicians are learning how therapy can treat clients’ brains, not only their behaviors.

The infographic below illustrates what neurocounseling is and how it can help individuals with a variety of mental conditions and disorders.  Continue reading Have You Heard of Neurocounseling?

The Top Innovations in Mental Health Care and Technology

mental health tools

Because of the stigma of mental illness and systemic flaws that limit access to mental health care, people want less frustrating and more affordable paths to improving their mental health. Companies, academic researchers and government organizations are creating innovations in mental health care and technology to reach these consumers.

In spite of these efforts, there are still millions of people who give up on improving their mental health because they are not aware of these innovations. By looking at the innovations below and spreading the word, you can present them with more options and offer another chance to live a happier life. Continue reading The Top Innovations in Mental Health Care and Technology

Could a Robot Be a Decent Therapist?

Ellie therapist bot Talkspace conference

We’ve seen advanced artificial intelligence capable of holding a conversation such as Siri, IBM’s Watson and Microsoft’s Cortana. But could any robot — even something designed only for psychotherapy and more advanced than the aforementioned AIs — be a decent therapist?

People have used bots for therapy, but it’s not clear whether they could surpass human therapists in our lifetime. Looking at the past, present and possible future of robots as therapists will give you an idea of how effective they could be. Continue reading Could a Robot Be a Decent Therapist?