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Talkspace - A New Kind of Therapy Targeting Depression

Talkspace is an online therapy app that serves to provide easy, convenient, and confidential psychotherapy via an online platform and app, accessible by a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Licensed clinicians are available around the clock to provide therapy to clients seeking help. Therapists and clients are matched using an in-app algorithm or by information provided to an intake specialist. Many clients that use this service experience depression, anxiety, life transitions, or stress. Clinicians provide therapy through video or text conversations with the client, drawing largely from tenants of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and working with clients to set individualized goals and objectives.

Talkspace is working to bridge the gap between those who are in need of mental health services and those who are able to receive services. Prices are less than in-person therapy, and flexible scheduling ensures that therapy can happen from anywhere at any time. The convenience makes it easy for busy people to get the help they need. It is also great for individuals that are more hesitant about seeking mental health services, as therapy can take place from the comfort of your own home.

As mentioned above, many people who seek services from app-based therapy services are experiencing depression. Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the United States. Though it is slightly more prevalent in women, both women and men can experience depression at any point in their adult lives. Sometimes depression comes on slowly over a period of weeks or months, other times, depression comes on quite suddenly. Despite common misconceptions, depression is not necessarily brought on by life events; the disorder has its roots in neuro-chemical imbalances in the brain. Common symptoms of depression include changes in sleep patterns, eating too much or loss of appetite, feeling of dread or sadness, isolation, and anhedonia (loss of interest). Anhedonia is one of the hallmark qualities of this disorder and helps diagnose depression. Depression can range in severity from mild to severe and can be debilitating. Often, individuals with depression have a hard time participating in everyday activities such as work, their social lives, and family lives.

The good news is that depression is quite treatable when individuals seek help. The most effective treatment for major depressive disorder is a combination of both therapy and medication. Therapeutic treatment is often based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and focuses on teaching clients to reframe cognitive distortions, make effective behavioral changes, and instill the use of coping skills. In 2016, approximately 65% of adults with depression in the US received treatment. With new services like an online therapy app on the market, clinicians and researchers are hopeful that more individuals with depression and other mental health needs will be able to receive adequate and convenient therapeutic care. According to Business Insider, Talkspace can offer a "fresh perspective" for clients and can operate as a good sounding board for people who feel like they need a little more support in their lives. The service has experienced a wealth of positive reviews and is working to improve the mental health of our nation in a convenient and technology-driven way.

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