Your relationship with your therapist is very different from other relationships, but one thing is the same: sometimes you need a change. How can you tell when it’s time to switch therapists? Sometimes you just don’t click with a person. Maybe your styles are different, or maybe you sense criticism or judgment. If that person is your therapist, it’s hard to share your innermost thoughts and feelings… read more
Talkspace represents a major breakthrough in modern psychology: using technology to improve individual and couples therapy. This use of technology is also known as “telemedicine,” and is part of a growing shift in the healthcare industry, with technology enabling more convenient, affordable, and on-demand benefits.
We’d like to give you a brief tour of the cool benefits Talkspace offers as part of the online therapy experience… read more
Talkspace has helped thousands of people live happier lives and bypass barriers to therapy. Lucky for us, some of those people went out of their way to document their experiences by writing in-depth reviews of our brand of online therapy.
We highlighted a few of them below. Browse through them to see if they help you decide whether Talkspace is right for you… read more
Your relationship with your therapist is very different from other relationships, but one thing is the same: sometimes you need a change. How can you tell when it’s time to switch therapists?
Sometimes you just don’t click with a person. Maybe your styles are different, or maybe you sense criticism or judgment. If that person is your therapist, it’s hard to share your innermost thoughts and feelings… read more
At its core, online therapy’s objective is similar to that of brick-and-mortar therapy: provide tools, solutions, and ways to reframe your current issues, allowing you to overcome challenges in many areas of your life.
Online therapy differs, however, in that it puts therapy in the palm of you hand and enables you to share your thoughts and challenges anytime you wish. This makes therapy more convenient and affordable for those who are new to the experience. Additionally, online or text-based therapy (like Talkspace) is known to be as effective, if not more, than brick-and-mortar therapy… read more
No matter how eager you are to change your ways, there will come a point in therapy when you think, “This sucks. Dante forgot to include ‘Therapy’ as the tenth layer of hell.”
It’s hard work. Maybe you had a panic attack during a session, or realized some difficult truths about your personality. Sometimes therapy is boring, or you’re convinced your poor therapist is bored. You talk about the same things week after week, over and over again, and nothing in you is changing… read more
Therapy is hard work — sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Therefore, it can be tough to stop before you’re ready, but sometimes life happens that way. Your therapist understands that you’re busy and things come up when least expected. Fortunately, if you have to stop or pause therapy, there are ways to make the process less painful… read more
Finding a therapist was one of the best decisions of my life. At the time, I had been struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (although I didn’t know that’s what I was experiencing), an eating disorder (I didn’t want to admit), and high anxiety levels (so high that my relationship and performance at work were taking a nosedive). I felt like my life was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do… read more
The beginning of therapy brings up complicated emotions. You might feel relieved that you’ve been able to unburden yourself, or even awe at the way your therapist “gets” you. Like every relationship, there is usually a honeymoon period, in which you admire and respect your therapist, confident in their ability to heal you.
Over time, however, the newness fades and the work gets harder. People often put their therapist on a pedestal at first, but the therapist is bound to fall eventually. For some people, adjusting to a more realistic view of the therapist is easy, but for others, resentment or lack of respect creep in... read more
These days, there are more ways to find a therapist than ever before. But, some might feel it’s important and more helpful to work with a therapist of a particular background, which can make the search more difficult. It can even be tough to make this request. If you’re in this situation, what should you do?
With my own new clients, one of the things I often come across is that they’ve tried therapy before, often with a therapist of a different cultural background than themselves. For many, that experience wasn’t particularly comfortable and they found themselves educating their therapist on what they would consider the fundamental parts of their lived experience… read more
Like any journey, your therapeutic journey may have starts and stops, highs and lows, departures and returns. Sometimes unexpected changes in life force you to pause the investment in your mental health. Or maybe you wanted a break to focus on another part of your life.
Once you are ready to return to therapy, you might wonder how you should go about it. What should you say to your therapist? Perhaps something to the effect of “I’m back” doesn’t seem like enough… read more
When someone enters therapy and begins a relationship with their therapist, whether it’s online or offline, the last thing on that person’s mind is leaving.
But, just like with all relationships, there will come a time to say goodbye and it’s how they choose to go about it that really matters. Lets face it, many endings to relationships tend to be negative; think break-ups, death, and divorce. They may even be the reasons someone comes to therapy in the first place. But the good news is, ending therapy on a positive note is absolutely possible and it will enrich the time you spent receiving it... read more
Therapy (or psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy) is the process of working with a licensed therapist or counselor to develop positive thinking and coping skills to treat specific mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, trauma, or simply the daily human challenges we all face.
Therapy can be administered by an assortment of licensed professionals including psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and counselors. These professionals have completed rigorous training in the form of at least a master’s degree in their respective course of study as well as at least 3,000 supervised clinical hours.
Most forms of widely practiced counseling have been researched extensively and found to be extremely effective in dealing with a range of issues — from the everyday stresses of modern life to issues like past abuse in childhood.
There are also different ways to connect with a therapist — online or in-person — and modes of doing so — whether by text message, phone, or live video — to meet client needs and lifestyle. The best therapy for you will be that which most closely aligns with your reasons for considering counseling.
All forms of psychotherapy exist to improve clients’ mental health, but there are styles of therapy specific to issues clients face, as well as different therapeutic approaches, represented by different schools of thought around treating mental health and the nature of the mind. Some schools hew more closely to the older styles of counseling developed by early psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud, while others are more contemporary and reflect newer research by theorists.
A few of the most popular popular types of therapy include:
Challenges negative client-thought patterns about themself and the world to alter unwanted behaviors or treat disorders such as depression. CBT provides relatively short-term treatment for a range of conditions, phobias, disorders and is backed by a great deal of research on its effectiveness.
Focuses on the client, who helps determine the course of the session; the therapist offers a high-degree of empathy, helps build self-esteem and problem-solving abilities, but does not overtly guide the session.
Stresses acceptance and change while teaching behavioral skills (mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation) that help clients enhance motivation. DBT is often used to treat more severe mental health issues including PTSD, borderline personality disorder, self-harming, and eating disorders.
Derived from existential philosophy, this modality emphasizes self-actualization in the face of the realities of the human experience, including our isolation from one another and mortality. Existential therapy helps clients face these difficult and overwhelming truths.
Stresses the client-therapist relationship and their therapeutic alliance to highlight personal responsibility and a focus on the present. Often gestalt therapy invokes role playing to resolve conflicts from the client’s past.
Explores a client’s unconscious feelings/thoughts and how the present is impacted by the past. Psychodynamic therapy is the oldest form of psychotherapy and is, in fact, an outgrowth of psychoanalytic therapy developed by Freud where clients are encouraged to speak extemporaneously on whatever comes to mind, whether it be fears, dreams, or desires.
Therapy can benefit everyone, but it isn’t solely beneficial after a traumatic experience, abuse, anxiety, or a major life change — it can help in everyday life, too! Many highly successful people use therapy to be more productive in goal setting and self-acceptance.
Nearly all aspects of life can be impacted and improved with psychotherapy. A therapist may provide new techniques for problem solving, help challenge irrational habits and incorrect assumptions, help reframe long-held views, or or assign homework to help you grow and change. A therapist can also help overcome mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, body image issues, and even addiction.
Primarily a therapist will help to:
The most important thing is that a therapist is always there for you. They’re an impartial ally who will support you without judgment. While your friends might not text you back, your therapist is always willing to listen.
A therapist, or psychotherapist, is a licensed mental health professional who helps clients improve the lives of their clients, helping them develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce the symptoms of mental illness and cope with various day-to-day challenges. Therapists primarily help clients, whether via in-person or online therapy, improve their mental health. Some therapists work in a research capacity or in an academic setting.
Therapists work in a range of modes and capacities. They help their clients cope with whatever they’re struggling with and assist in modifying behaviors that may be unhealthy, maladaptive, or harmful. Therapists also teach better coping skills.
Whatever type of counseling you engage in you can be sure that your therapist will:
Therapists themselves do not prescribe medication, but they refer clients to psychiatrists, mental health facilities, or other medical professionals as needed.
As a prospective client, it’s great to share what your preferences are and what you’re looking to get out of therapy. In fact, it’s critical to success in therapy! The intake process — where you answer some questions about what’s brought you to counseling or what challenges you’re dealing with — is a great opportunity for clients to be up front about what they need from a therapist.
While by definition therapists are unbiased advocates, forming a real and trusting bond with your therapist is the most important element of selecting the right fit. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding on a therapist:
On a platform like Talkspace, you can find a therapist that fits your precise needs. And if you don’t connect with your therapist, it’s easy to switch to another with no-hassle, and at no additional cost. Finding the right therapist is essential and, with Talkspace, you don’t have to spend time searching, making appointments, and auditioning therapists — the perfect fit is just a click away.
As you can imagine, because counseling can be so impactful and therapists can do so much to improve the specific challenges clients struggle with, the service is not without costs. Therapists are highly trained professionals — licensed in the state they practice in, each with a master’s degree and an additional 3,000 hours of supervised work. They deserved to be justly compensated! Talkspace also requires six-weeks of training and onboarding for the platform.
The relatively high costs of therapy and healthcare more generally do make it prohibitively expensive for many. That’s why, at Talkspace, we aim to make counseling more accessible by keeping costs low — we believe in therapy for all. Often costs vary by region, but in-person therapy costs on average $75-150 per hour (in places like New York it is generally between $200-300 per hour) and the majority of therapists do not take health insurance.
Online therapy, however, is a most cost effective and affordable option for those who need access to care, but don’t have the means to access brick-and-mortar counseling.
Online therapy has been proven to have the same efficacy as in-office therapy and is typically much more affordable (often less than half the cost of traditional therapy). This is mostly due to the fact that online counseling requires less overhead than therapists who work in an office.
You can use an online therapy network, like Talkspace, to find a therapist or check if a therapist you know will provide online service.
Therapy can be lifesaving for those who struggle with mental health challenges — everyone should have access to it. But for those whom counseling proves too cost prohibitive, there are a few options that can help defray the expense.
Below are some affordable examples of ways to find the mental healthcare you need:
While therapy can be expensive, it’s important to remember that your mental health touches every aspect of your life — your relationships, career, and happiness. Gambling with your mental health is not something that will pay off long-term. It’s important to prioritize your well-being!
The length of the therapeutic process is dependent upon your individual needs, goals, and challenges. The number of recommended sessions varies by condition and treatment type, which is something you can discuss in an initial consultation with a therapist. Many clients with depression and anxiety report feeling better after three months.
Those who are treated via cognitive behavioral therapy report feeling better around 10-20 sessions, Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings explains. She reports that she’s had “many successful stories with clients who had situational issues that only needed brief therapy services” in order to start feelings better. She adds, “it is important to mention that therapy is not only a way to solve a problem, but also a way of living. In the same way that we go to the gym and exercise or tone our body, therapy is like exercise for our mind, heart, and soul.”
Whatever your therapeutic process may look like, remember to trust your gut and express any concerns to your therapist. Honesty and transparency will ensure you’re on the right path to feeling better as soon as possible.
While everyone’s therapeutic process is different, there are some common signs you’re making progress in therapy.
If you sought counseling for a mental health condition, symptom improvement is a main indicator that therapy is working for you. Other indicators of improvement include progress toward long-term goals — you’ve moved past venting and have started working toward change — or recognizing the development of new skills, coping mechanisms, or better habits and ways of thinking.
And remember, if you’re concerned about the progress you’re making in counseling, express these worries to your therapist.
And, while we’ve established a common psychotherapy definition, every therapist does define therapy in slightly different ways. By looking at the aspects they stress, you can see a more detailed picture of counseling and whether the therapist’s approach aligns with your goals.
Here are some therapy definitions we gathered by surveying Talkspace therapists and reaching outside our network:
“Helping clients break free of old ideas, patterns and wounds that are restricting their happiness and contentment; coaching them through life passages, teaching skills and techniques for self-awareness, relationships and success.”
— Tina B. Tessina, Therapist, Ph.D.
To fully understand psychotherapy and counseling, it can be helpful to explore its past, present, and future. This timeline will give you a richer understanding of what counseling is and how it evolved.
Before Freud and other early psychologists such as Wilhelm Wundt, philosophy was the closest relative to therapy. It was the only field that explored human behavior and mental health.
“Psychology is an offshoot of philosophy,” psychologist Bart Rossi told Talkspace.
Rossi cited schools of philosophy such as rationalism and empiricism. He also said philosophers including Immanuel Kant contributed to the development of therapy.
One of the best examples of philosophy informing psychotherapy is existential therapy, which is derived from existential philosophy. Existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom, who shaped the field, said existential philosophers such as Nietzsche inspired his work.
Because Freud was a psychiatrist, and invented psychoanalysis, early psychotherapy was mostly about reducing symptoms. It followed a medical model rather than the wellness model we more frequently see today. Therapy was for “patients” with diagnosable mental illnesses, not clients who see a therapist for a multitude of reasons.
“I think in the past, therapy was centered around ‘fixing’ what was ‘wrong’ with people,” said therapist Kristen Martinez. “[The medical establishment] thought they were the healthy ones, and psychotherapy focused on getting ‘unhealthy’ people to be healthy like them.”
Modern psychotherapy tends to balance the wellness and medical model. Therapists want to reduce symptoms in people dealing with mental illness, but they’re squarely centered on the needs and direction of the client.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) changed the definition of counseling, according to Rossi. It is now more behavior-focused and psychodynamic approaches have become less common.
The advent of online therapy has also appended what therapy is and how it is delivered. Although prior definitions of therapy did not explicitly describe it as occurring solely in-person, therapy required in-office visits because distance counseling was not easily facilitated before the development of the internet.
Earlier therapy definitions also implied counseling could only take place only via “sessions,” where the therapist and client scheduled a meeting or phone call at a specific time. Because of technology and approaches such as the text therapy Talkspace offers, counseling no longer requires set sessions.
While psychotherapy isn’t going anywhere there are some trends that will expand the definition of what is possible in therapy.
Here are some trends that might contribute to the evolution of psychotherapy and counseling in the future:
Now that we’ve discussed what therapy is and is not and have established a common definition for psychotherapy, take a moment to think about what it might be able to do for you.