texting therapy

Should Psychotherapy Live Inside an App?

Is therapy is simple as asking short questions and receiving pithy answers? Some entrepreneurs seem to think so, including the founders of Talkspace, a text-messaging app that facilitates contact between patients and therapists via short, anonymous messages. Advocates of texting therapy point to the many benefits of this approach, including its potential to help patients reach out from remote locales, its anonymity (which could help some patients get over a fear of being judged), and its extreme affordability:

"Some users suffer from self-harm — cutting — so they can write to our therapist and say, ‘I have an urge to cut myself now, what should I do?'", says Roni Frank, a former computer scientist turned therapist. "There's nothing else out there like that." She thinks the immediacy that's built into the app is beneficial for people in crisis.

Yet dire emergencies and instant advice are not exactly the stuff of substantive therapy, which relies strongly on intimate connections and extended sessions. Indeed, any therapy which can be reduced to 160 characters or less is probably closer to the purview of life coaches than to the process of investigation and discovery that analytic therapy is for.

Most new products arise to fill a need, of course, and there is no doubt that Talkspace has struck a nerve for of its simplicity. Here at PPSC, we understand it isn’t always easy to find a therapist who suits your needs, and whose rates you can afford. That’s why we offer a number of ways for patients to find low cost therapy, and to explore convenient hours in their day.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits of old-fashioned face-to-face psychoanalytic psychotherapy, please contact us today.