We all know how effective the talking cure can be, but for many people, carving the time out of their schedule to meet a psychotherapist can be impossible, not to mention daunting. Services like Pretty Padded Room have sprung up to provide a solution to these problems, offering secure video chats with mental health professionals as an on-demand service. In a report by NPR, a 24-year-old entrepreneur reveals that, rather than the confrontational setting we imagine, a spot of online therapy is more akin to “Skypingwith a friend.”
Informality aside, another benefit is the cost, given that a 30-minute session costs less than $50, whereas a real-world meeting would be anything up to three times that price. It’s also a neat way to circumvent restrictions if none of the local therapists are signed up to your insurance provider. Online therapy has also been established to be as effective as its counterpart, although it is believed that it’s not as useful for people with severe conditions. There are some issues to overcome, such as privacy concerns, non-qualified service providers and the fact that practitioners are only able to practice in the state where they are licensed. Still, in the same way that Netflix revolutionized movie rental and Uber’s changing transportation, perhaps the Tony Soprano of 2020 will spend more time with their tablet than in the waiting room.