Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer


Posted by Dr. Vollmer on July 19, 2017

Meaningful therapy from every device

It can be difficult to wait days or weeks until your next appointment. With Talkspace, you can send your therapist a message whenever you’re near a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Your conversation carries over seamlessly across devices and uses banking-grade encryption to keep it safe and confidential.

How Therapy Works on Talkspace

Getting Started

During Therapy

Your Own Therapist

Once you’re matched, you’ll be working with the same licensed therapist every time.

Write When You Want

You can set aside some time every day, or write when the mood strikes you. Your room is always open.

Regular Responses

Therapists respond 1-2 times per day. If you need more, simply schedule a video chat.

Customer Support

Customer Support is available to help answer non-clinical questions about how Talkspace works.



Oh my, the world changed again, and I just woke up to text therapy. Talkspace is a company that offers packages for texting therapy. Do I text my patients, you wonder? Absolutely. I have embraced the technology early on, as I find texting a great way to communicate and keep in touch. Having said that, what do I think of therapy that is only done by texting. I am simply outraged. Free association is the mainstay of psychodynamic psychotherapy, and so the critical feature is to allow the patient an open space to understand how their mind works by listening to how they put ideas together. Texting, like tweeting, limits the amount of verbal output and as such, limits the depth of the experience. Plus, writing and speaking are two very different forms of communication, and there is something very valuable to a verbal exchange which happens like ping-pong, where ideas feed each other. This is the basis for the “good fit” in psychotherapy where the patient’s mind and the therapist’s mind need to be able to feed one another for the therapeutic process to get started. To only have text as a therapeutic tool is to me, yet another way, in which mental health is being diluted from a high quality profession, to one that can be done “easily” with a smart phone. The complexity of psychotherapy needs to be embraced and not denied. This Talkspace company, although perhaps profitable, strikes me as a very poor substitute for good treatment. Once again, the question arises about whether I am resisting new technology or whether new forms of treatment are not necessarily better forms of treatment. Both, of course, could be true. In this case, the latter seems clear to me. New is not better, it is just new.

7 Responses to “TalkSpace”

  1. Jon said

    Just as television did not replace movies and movies did not replace live stage performances, so it might be that Online Therapy in this incarnation of TalkSpace seems to complement, not replace the Talking Cure of Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. Each has its merits, but none is a whole unto itself. Best of luck navigating the uncharted seas of this brave new world in which psychoanalysis finds itself.

  2. Thanks, Jon. As you know, my concern is on multiple levels which include patient care, provider satisfaction and society’s view of mental health problems. I agree that text therapy is complementary, but the idea of a company offering this as the primary level of service is appalling. Thanks again.

  3. Shelly said

    I see your point, absolutely. When I craft an e-mail, I sit and mull over each sentence with great care. It is not the “real me” at all, except for a very select few people, when the e-mails just flow like in a real conversation. But in texts or tweets, it’s impossible to say or write what you really mean. What you write or even how you write can never be replaced with face-to-face interactions because the real meaning comes with tone and body language and what’s left unsaid. I get it!

  4. Mark said

    how come there isnt much posting on this blog about therapy etc. so much lately

    • Hi Mark,
      Thank you for your comment. As you have noticed, I have slowed down considerably. I am curious. Is there a particular topic you are interested in?

      • Mark said

        yes looks like the amount of posts have considerably dropped. i enjoyed reading posts in the ” psychotherapy” and “psychoanalysis” categories

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