Updated: Dec 5, 2020
I am on some private online groups for mental health clinicians, and I’ve noticed there are several and consistent negative comments about the quality and efficacy of app-based text therapy programs available to consumers.
Further, it seems that the majority of clinicians that are contracted with these text-based treatments are not satisfied with the work culture, either. Let's see... what do you get with an unhappy clinician that is overworked, helping folks that need mental health service, on a platform that is arguably less effective than face-to-face treatment... It does not add up to be the most therapeutic or beneficial experience for either party.
Unless one is limited to communicate only through text, I would not recommend any text-based therapy services. The benefit of video or in-person therapy is being able to observe body language, hear tone and inflection of voice, and a stronger sense of in-real-time and real-life connections.
Texting can be cumbersome and can provoke anxiety trying to articulate your thoughts through your fingers. You may also experience a delayed response time, perhaps leaving a client hanging after an emotionally charged message was sent. Also, black-and-white text doesn’t quite effectively reveal sarcasm, wit, or subtle nuances of despair or yearning one might notice when interacting face-to-face with a person.
Check out this article from the New York Times, "At Talkspace, Start-Up Culture Collides With Mental Health Concerns."
Image Credit: Scott Anderson