article written by Jenna
I started using TalkSpace a little over a month ago after realizing that the monthly phone calls with my usual psychiatrist weren't quite cutting it for me. I used to see her in person and had made a whole ritual out of it: I'd get a nice coffee, walk around the area a bit, and occasionally treat myself to a little splurge at a local store. I'd go to see my psychiatrist, have a great session, then hop on the train home and read a book during the commute.
The pandemic took that ritual away from me. What I learned is that part of the reason I was so relaxed and open during my psychiatry sessions was because of the rituals that I'd developed around actually going there and going home. The whole experience was nice, not just the therapy aspect. So when I switched over to phone calls, I was rarely relaxed and often had just rushed home from work or otherwise. Don't get me wrong: I still communicate with my regular psychiatrist regularly, but this turned out to not be quite enough for me.
In came TalkSpace. I signed up after finding out that my health insurance would offer me a small discount for the first month and figured I'd try it for at least a few weeks before giving up.
Well, it's five weeks later, and I have no plans of quitting. I chose the cheapest plan - this includes one 10 minute introductory face-to-face video call and the rest is all through text. I thought I'd find this weird and uncomfortable and at first I did. It's been a very long time since I've gone through my whole history with anyone and shared all of my traumatic experiences and frankly, it was a bit odd to just be writing it all instead of talking out loud. However, after going through all of it again, I found it to be a bit therapeutic to 'hear' a different perspective on my history and to get a different person's thoughts on how these things have shaped me. It was also nice, it turns out, to write some things down. Almost like journaling, but with a trained person to counsel my through what I was thinking.
After that, after those first two weeks of deep diving and history, it stopped being weird or awkward anymore and more of just my daily life. Yes: TalkSpace helped me integrate therapy into my daily life. That sounds bizarre, but I've found that I really enjoy it. I have an immediate outlet any time of day, 5 days a week, where I can write down what I'm thinking and know that someone will actually read it, understand, and respond to it within a few hours. Even though we've only spoken 'face-to-face' once for 10 minutes, it feels like my therapist actually knows me quite well and I've gotten to know her a bit too.
Overall, I really like TalkSpace! It's an affordable form of therapy and it works into my schedule. I can send messages and respond to messages whenever I want to or whenever I feel like it. I can say as much or as little as I want to. I can send pictures and record audio if I'm proud of something I've baked or too lazy to type a response.
Honestly, I'd definitely recommend TalkSpace. Sure, it's not for everyone - a lot of people prefer a more in-person type of interaction and frankly so do I. But during the pandemic, this has been a real lifesaver for me. For anyone that feels like they could use an outlet sometimes or someone else in their life to talk to about difficult subjects, this is a really safe space to do it.
Interested in signing up for TalkSpace? Sign up by clicking here to get $200 off your first month! (That makes it $60 for the cheapest plan, which is the one I've described here!)