Talkspace is an online and mobile company based in New York City, which focuses on connecting people with licensed therapist through the internet or mobile app. It was founded in 2012 by Oren and Roni Frank, after the two went through couples therapy in order to save their marriage. As a result, Roni pursued a master’s degree in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The platform was initially designed for group therapy, but it evolved, currently offering online psychotherapy.
In early 2018, Talkspace announced a partnership with athlete Michael Phelps, in order to promote therapy as a tool to improve mental health. The partnership featured a national television campaign, Phelps talking about his personal experiences and encouraging people to talk about their mental health.
Phelps noted that he struggled with anxiety and depression at various times during his career and that it was difficult to get the help that he needed. He also mentioned that having access to a therapist, either by text, video or web, gave him a feeling of empowerment. His goal was to help people who may be dealing with similar mental health challenges that he experienced, and show them how help is much easier and much more affordable nowadays.
Also in 2018, Talkspace hired Neil Leibowitz, a chief medical officer who will start prescribing medication through the company’s app. Oren Frank brought Leibowitz on board in order to enable Talkspace’s psychiatrist to prescribe medicine through video. Leibowitz noted that he decided to join Talkspace after he got to know the team and the product.
The goal of Talkspace, according to Oren Frank, is to make psychotherapy affordable and accessible for one billion individual throughout the world. According to the team behind Talkspace, they do not aim to replace in-office therapy, but to make it available to individuals in order to overcome their daily challenges and benefit from therapy in an environment without stigma or judgment.
Oren Frank noted on Talkspace’s blog that therapy is not only about venting or digging through childhood memories, but is also about everyday strategies in order to manage stress and live a happier life.