“Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson had already been candid about his mental health struggles when he posted about his suicidal thoughts on Instagram last December, sparking a nationwide conversation about how to seek help and support others. Many people, including Olympian Michael Phelps, have been speaking openly about how text therapy specifically helped “save” their lives. Whether on social media or through private therapy apps, these celebrities have been raising awareness about mental health stigmas and the need for accessible coping strategies. In 2019, your phone holds endless possibilities. Just start typing.
Text therapy is becoming a popular way to communicate with therapists, making therapy more accessible.
What exactly is text therapy? Dr. Victor Schwartz of the JED Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health for young adults, defines it as “a therapeutic conversation,” or a type of therapy “that takes place on the platform of texting instead of speaking face to face.”
Robyn Kanner, Akilah Hughes and Timothy Goodman are all friends and writers who decided to publish their experiences with texting therapy. The result is “Friends With Secrets,” a website that offers the curious a peek into the world of text therapy.
“We wanted to let people know that therapy is accessible. Text therapy is much cheaper than real-life therapy, of course, which is a huge reason why a lot of people don’t go to therapists,” explains Goodman. “We were all going through these things, so it was like, ‘What would happen if we documented this and let people into our world, and let people consider therapy in their lives?’”
Schwartz points out that young people are often more comfortable communicating through text and social media, so why not use their language? He warns that although text therapy enhances accessibility to care, it might not replace face-to-face therapy in all cases. Text therapy is most commonly used for “cognitive behavioral therapy and crisis therapy,” which includes different types of suicide hotlines.
Talkspace, one of the leading brands in online talk therapy, uses celebrities to promote its platform. Its current spokesman, Michael Phelps, may have 28 Olympic medals, but…Read More.