‘You have been matched with a therapist’

Therapy at your fingertips: We test two of the top apps that offer mobile advice

BY ALYSSA LASHBROOK

SheridanSun reporter Alyssa Lashbrook uses the 7 Cups app. (Photo by Sydney Borton/SheridanSun)

After seeing many ads for ‘live therapist’ apps all over social media in the last couple of months, The Sheridan Sun decided to test a couple out.

On the app store there are a few different options. The top two apps are TalkSpace and 7 Cups. Neither have a specific theme, but there are others that are specifically for LGBT+ or religions.

The same personal issue was used on both apps to compare responses. That topic is the worry about your career and the future and feeling lost, — issues that spark anxiety in many college students.

TalkSpace:

Price for App: Free with in-app purchases

Rating: 4.5/5

Available on the web: Yes

What the ads said: “Affordable & convenient.

Cost for service within the app: All plans include unlimited text, audio and video messaging.

Basic: $32USD/week, one check-in a day with your therapist.

Plus: $39USD/week, two check-ins a day with your therapist.

Premium: $49USD/week, two check-ins a day, and a monthly live session for 30 minutes.

Discount: 30% off with code found in App Store.

  • The TalkSpace preview in the Apple App Store. "Affordable & convenient." (Photos by Alyssa Lashbrook/SheridanSun)

Once opening the app you have to create an account and accept the terms and conditions. They outlined that they aren’t there for

Consultant Matthew Lawson’s TalkSpace profile.

emergency situations and that users must be over 18. It was stated that they don’t employ the therapists and therefore are not responsible for the quality of therapy given.

Once you finish the signup process, you get matched with an initial consultant. This is done to understand why you’re there. The consultant we got was Matthew Lawson. From his TalkSpace profile, it says that he is a licensed counsellor, and his LinkedIn profile corresponds. In the first message that was received, the prices for plans we’re mentioned along with a summary of how the app works.

Once it was determined the issue that was to be discussed in therapy, Lawson gave some encouraging words and understood that the anxiety over one’s future is something that can be difficult. Plans were then discussed, and until one chooses and pays for a plan, no therapist will be assigned.

We didn’t proceed further with the app, but Lawson was nice and understanding about the termination of services.

7 Cups:

Price for App: Free with in-app purchases

Rating: 4.3/5

Tagline: Online Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

Available on the web: Yes

What the ad’s said: “FREE, anonymous and confidential conversations with trained volunteer listeners.”

Price for service: Three-day free trial, then $150USD/month.

  • 7 Cups preview in the Apple App Store. "FREE, anonymous, and confidential conversations with trained volunteer listeners. CONNECT INSTANTLY." (Photos by Alyssa Lashbrook/SheridanSun)

Once an account was created and terms were accepted, a “therapy bot” named Sophia began to send messages. Sophia asked basic questions on age and gender, then sent a link to a larger questionnaire. In this questionnaire, you are prompted to give your full name, phone number, and address. Sophia then said in order to continue to get connected to a therapist that a three-day free trial would begin and then they would charge the monthly fee. After agreeing to the free trial, we were matched with a therapist named Daniela Golbert. Golbert’s 7 Cups profile and her LinkedIn, both show that she specializes indrama therapy and group therapy.

 

Therapist Daniela Golbert’s profile on 7 Cups.

After a couple minutes, a message was received from Golbert. She highlighted that we could reach out to her anytime, but that she would only typically respond Monday to Friday. She then asked some standard questions to better know the issue and the patient.

 

After responding with the answers, some “welcome listeners” would send messages that were informative on the listening services of the app. They outlined that there is an online community within the app so that users can talk together and help one another. After a while Golbert responded and thus began a good back and fourth conversation. Golbert gave some advice that said to focus on breathing and to know that everyone goes through the same thing. Some of her advice was that it takes people a long time to find what they love.

On the third day, the free trial was running out. Golbert was understanding of the termination of therapy and with a few clicks in the settings, the membership was cancelled.

Conclusion:

These apps can be useful for someone who wants therapy or counselling on their own time and in a more modern way. The rates are not outrageous as you are getting access to treatment throughout the week whenever and wherever you want.

7 Cups was the winner of the test because it did give the free trial to test it out. The app also sends you occasional inspirational messages. You are able to talk to others in the community, which is a nice feature to have when your therapist isn’t online.

The interface of TalkSpace is what we liked the most about the app. It was also nice that you weren’t given to a “bot” but a real person to begin. However, not being able to test the services before paying is a downfall, as we were not able to see how therapy would work.

Both apps and a couple others, including Better Help, Faithful Counselling, and Pride Counselling are available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

About Alyssa Lashbrook 5 Articles
Alyssa Lashbrook is a 19-year-old journalism student at Sheridan College. She is originally from Sudbury, Ont. and has a passion for radio and story-telling. Some of the things she loves are music, travel, creativity, and organization. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLash

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.