The Therapist in Your Pocket

Listen 48:41

Finding the right therapist — or, sometimes, any therapist — can be a grueling process. Someone with the right expertise, who is still taking new clients, lives in your area, who accepts your insurance, or whose services you can afford. Over the past few years, online therapy platforms like BetterHelp and Talkspace have seen an explosion in popularity. They promise easy access — anytime you need it — and affordability.

Major changes are happening in the field of mental health, as more people turn to online services — not just for counseling, but for diagnosis and prescriptions. How good are these platforms really — for clients and for therapists? And what are the larger issues they raise about the field as a whole? On this episode, we look at the rise of online mental health services. We hear stories about working for one of these apps, what clients like or dislike about them, and the unregulated world of online ADHD diagnosis.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • We talk with Charles Jacob, psychologist and professor at Sacred Heart University, about some of the thorny issues facing online and in-person therapy — from state licensing requirements to complaints about unprofessionalism, and how to know if a therapist is right for you.
  • Reporter Grant Hill talks with Gabby Rogut, a Mexican high school teacher who was struggling with suicidal thoughts, about the convenience — and later the pitfalls — of online therapy.

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