Getting therapy is expensive. Despite the growing popularity of therapy, it costs patients a substantial amount of money, time and commitment. It is usually a weekly effort that could cost you anywhere from $20 a session to hundreds, depending on the experience, degree of the therapist and whether your insurance covers it.
Today, pioneers have decided to take advantage of modern technologies to solve some of these problems. It allows users to have access to free or more modest pricing therapy. It is portable and flexible with scheduling sessions and it does not require any extensive traveling that costs money and resources – which is often an insurmountable obstacle for those who need therapy.
Apps such as 7 Cups of Tea that connect you to trained listeners (also accessible through a web browser), KoKo that provides ways to “rethink” your feelings and problems, and Joyable that actually provides paid services by professional psychologists and therapists through the phone application.
With more development these services could flourish, however, this could also spur a series of ramifications legally and ethically. Will the American Psychological Association (APA), oppose these apps? Will the APA push for more regulation to protect traditional therapists? Will there be legal restrictions put on these apps?
Psychologists need to be certified along with advanced degrees due to the nature of therapy. A possible consequence of these apps are lawsuits that may be filed from a person’s actions that may culminated in self-harm or harm to others from the “advice” given by an anonymous person on these apps.
Perhaps these apps will need to change their terms and services with extra emphasis on discouraging advice but rather ways of “rethinking” such as the Ko Ko app. Regulation will most likely follow as this inventive take on psychotherapy rises.
These apps will revolutionize the way therapy is applied in the modern society. But only time can tell what the long-term results will be.