An app for that

“Virtual therapy” offers safe space for women to discuss abuse


New ventures in the field of “virtual therapy” hope to provide online spaces where patients—and particularly female patients—can attend to their psychological needs. Companies like Mobile Health Interventions and Talkspace, which allow patients to anonymously connect with therapists online, are inspired by research indicating that people are more likely to seek treatment for mental health concerns if they can do so anonymously. “The bottom line is 90 percent of people with diagnosable mental health disorders don’t seek in-person care and many of those can treated through digital therapy, whether it’s an automated app or a therapist reaching out, when they may not have otherwise received it,” Frederick Muench of Mobile Health Interventions told Medical Daily.

Virtual Therapy is an especially promising frontier for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. A study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that only one percent of patients were willing to disclose intimate partner violence to a therapist, but 15 percent revealed physical abuse while filling out an online questionnaire. Ventures like Mobile Health Interventions seek to provide a therapeutic forum for assault survivors to seek help without fear of judgment. “Privacy and confidentiality is still paramount,” said Muench, “and I think [virtual therapy] will help people work on problems in private and at their own pace.”

Read the full story at Medical Daily.

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