Therapy is evolving to meet the demands of a younger, tech-savvy generation. But the objective remains the same: better mental health for all.
With the recent announcement of Talkspace for Teens, we want to adolescents feel comfortable reaching out for help using the Talkspace app. We understand you may have some questions about the process and the technology behind Talkspace.
Below you’ll learn how to begin counseling with Talkspace, including how you’re matched with a therapist, how much — or how little — parents are involved, and what you should expect in your conversations with your counselor.
First, Download the App and Sign Up
The advantage of online therapy is that you’re always a tap away from your counselor.
Whether stressed about your studies, having difficulty with someone close, or in need a different perspective when things are heavy, the goal of online therapy is an immediate way to get things off your chest.
It’s simple to get started. Here’s a quick checklist to begin talking to a counselor today:
- Download the app in the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.
- Enter your email address, a secure password, and choose a nickname your therapist will refer to you by (your real name or any name of your choosing).
- Answer a few questions about why you’re seeking counseling, to help your new therapist better understand you.
Once you’re all set up, you’re ready to match with your counselor.
Matching With a Counselor
Talkspace matches you with a counselor who understands the challenges teenagers face. All counselors are licensed and have prior experience working with adolescents. Some even have teenagers of their own!
You’ll be matched with a counselor who connects with you on personal and professional levels. If you’re working through depression or anxiety, you’ll match with a counselor who knows exactly how to help you through it. Or if you prefer a counselor who’s the same gender, that choice is entirely up to you.
The last step before beginning counseling is to give your consent, and get a parent’s approval that you’ve chosen to seek help. For those ages 13-17, you’ll simply upload a short video of your parent giving the okay to begin therapy. After this step, your parent is no longer involved — except for any case where your counselor thinks your health is in danger. All this is to make sure your therapy journey is safe and productive.
Different Ways to Talk with Your Counselor
You can communicate with your counselor in three ways: text-based messaging, audio, or video. Depending on the subscription you’ve chose, it could be all three!
Text-based counseling is similar to texting with your friends, and is as effective (or more) than traditional “couch” therapy. You can even send counselors emojis to help describe how you’re feeling. It’s meant to be a natural conversation like any other, but with a more powerful impact on your life.
If you want to record a quick audio message for your therapist to listen to, it’s an option! Same with video, just press record and share your thoughts. If you prefer to have a live conversation with your counselor, longer video sessions are also available. Kind of like Facetime, but it’s all about you!
No matter how you choose to talk, Talkspace uses the same encryption and security as big banks. Your privacy is safe with us.
What to Discuss with Your Counselor
You can discuss anything with your counselor. Anything. Counseling is a safe space where you can share what’s bothering you, or even what’s new in your life. Nothing is too small, as long as it helps you reach your counseling goals.
Here are a few examples of how to start the conversation:
- “I’m not as passionate about my drawing anymore…”
- “Someone is bothering me a school, and my grades are getting worse…”
- “I’m starting to think about colleges, but it’s making me nervous…”
- “My friends and I really like to party, and it doesn’t feel healthy anymore…”
Your counselor may ask for more details, or have follow-up questions based on your answers. This is natural. Counseling is a two way discussion, so be as open as you can. You’ll receive mental health benefits more quickly this way.
Setting Expectations for Counseling
A popular misconception around online therapy is that because it’s a new, advanced technology, your problems will be instantly solved. Keep this in mind: Any time you share your thoughts or what’s holding you back, you’ll see positive results in the moment.
While more chats with your counselor more often may help you work through your challenges faster, research shows that you should expect to feel overall results after about three months.
We all want quicker results, especially when it comes to mental health, but it takes a bit of patience. Think of it like exercise or learning to play an instrument. If you put in the time, you’ll get better, with longer-lasting results.
Counseling is Right for Anyone, Even You
It’s an interesting, sometimes difficult time to grow up. Increases in cyberbullying, social media addiction, and vaping can lead to increased mental health challenges. Online therapy like Talkspace is tailored to help you work through solutions like these.
Lots of people —all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles — have sought counseling to help them work through something in their life. I bet if you ask a parent, they’ll tell you about a time counseling helped them!
Talkspace helps individuals, couples, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and those in similar communities. We’re especially proud to offer help to people just like you.