Online Therapy For The Internet Entrepreneur At TalkTala
If I’m not in regular therapy, it’s probably for two reasons: I’m cheap and I have a cat. No one has ever been able to convince me that Haley’s “meow” is not sound, clinical advice… although, when I try to win an argument with my girlfriend using the same logic as Haley, things usually don’t go so well. Maybe it’s time I embrace different perspectives.
Talktala is a Web platform that offers group conversations with a licensed therapist at a much lower cost than traditional therapy. Sessions are geared to address the everyday stresses and anxieties of everyday people. An affordable price point and a casual forum aim to encourage people like me to seek the help that cost or intimidation might otherwise keep us from exploring. (No way I’m divulging how many sessions I considered joining.)
I’m not sure how Talktala might impact my mental health, but I do see the company demonstrating valuable examples for ensuring the well-being of a startup entrepreneur.
Making expensive services affordable
I’d love to go to the moon, but Nasa and Virgin Galactic are still outside of my budget. Talktala therapy sessions cost $9.99 per hour on average – an unbelievable price compared to the typical Freudian, patient-on-sofa visit. Group service, accommodating up to seven people, allows the therapist online to collect a fee similar to what offline work would provide while keeping the cost low for customers. No one gets screwed, and the customer holds on to both cash and dignity. I’m a fan.
Listening to the experts outside your field
Talktala was founded by Oren Frank, former global creative officer at MRM Worldwide. Given his background is in advertising, mental-health might sound like unlikely terrain for him to stake a new venture. Frank made Talktala real in part by consulting with Dr. Irving Yalom, author and professor emeritus of psychiatry at Stanford. It’s foolish not to benefit from the experience and knowledge of others.
Frank’s wife and Talktala co-founder, Roni, went to grad school and studied psychoanalysis after working as a software developer. It never hurts to take an interest in unfamiliar subjects or professions. The next best idea could be lurking anywhere, waiting for the right combination of knowledge and chutzpah. And gentleman, when has it every been a bad idea to listen to your wife?
Talktala offers the more traditional one-on-one meetings at a higher rate for incurable skeptics like myself. The online forum makes a more casual encounter possible. The beauty is that choice encourages different levels of participation. By providing certified therapists, Talktala maintains professionalism either way.
Group members can text, video-chat, or talk based on individual comfort level. The Contact link gives potential customers the opportunity to request conversation topics. These options also help remove barriers to interaction. Talktala facilitates its users’ choices, but doesn’t set options in stone. This leaves room for the Talktala experience to change from both sides.
Changing habits is hard. Even if your business offers new or better solutions to old problems, convincing people to just try something is often a huge hurdle. It pays to stay open-minded and welcome to suggestion.
Speaking of which, it’s time for me to push Haley off my lap. The “I want to break my relationship patterns!” session starts in ten minutes.