Talkspace Vote Now Working
Sorry for sending you to a vote that wasn’t initially working! You can now vote on the Talkspace therapy proposal.
Please vote no to Talkspace!
Kathryn pointed out, as did some of the shareholders in the comments, that the sketchy vibe I got from the Talkspace website does seem to exist throughout the company. In fact, it’s quite possible this company sucks!
New York Times article from August 2020, At Talkspace, Start-Up Culture Collides With Mental Health Concerns, points out:
has questionable marketing practices and regards treatment transcripts as another data resource to be mined. Their accounts suggest that the needs of a venture capital-backed start-up to grow quickly can sometimes be in conflict with the core values of professional therapy, including strict confidentiality and patient welfare.
“These are corporate platforms first. And they offer therapy second.”
Ms. Frank is the company’s head of clinical services; as of Aug. 6, her LinkedIn page said she had a master’s degree in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy from the New York Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, but she never completed the program.
Talkspace gave employees “burner” phones to help evade the app stores’ techniques for detecting false reviews. “They said, ‘Don’t do it here. Do it at home. Give us five-star ratings because we have too many bad reviews,’
former employees and therapists told The Times that individual users’ anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights.
In 2018, a therapists advocacy group called the Psychotherapy Action Network wrote a letter to the A.P.A. and to the Olympian Michael Phelps, who has appeared in ads for Talkspace, calling the company a “problematic treatment provider who aggressively sells an untested, risky treatment.”
And another article from back in 2016 on The Verge highlights how much of this is just the corporate culture:
Multiple former workers told The Verge they had reported a safety concern, and were denied access to client contact information.
The Verge spoke with two current Talkspace therapists and five therapists who have left the company recently. Each described an atmosphere of micromanagement and disillusionment, a therapy clinic placing too big an emphasis on client retention at the expense of therapists’ well-being.
After being sent detailed questions by The Verge. Frank sent several legally threatening emails to editorial staff at The Verge, as well as to the CEO of Vox Media,
Therapists also have a number of "scripts" they are instructed to insert into their chats under certain circumstances, which calls into question Talkspace’s claim that it is merely a digital landlord for therapists in private practice. Some of the scripts are mandatory, including one to advertise video chats.
Here is a cute picture of Georgie to compensate for all the bad news about a dumb therapy app.