Trawling through websites and hunting down therapist’s fees often puts people off from finding the therapy that is right for them entirely.
My Therapy Assistant (MTA), which is the brainchild of chartered clinical psychologist Dr Kate Robinson and management consultant Mirsad Mustovic, aims to connect users with qualified psychologists and psychotherapists for online and in-person sessions, whilst utilising tools on the platform to reflect, goal set and focus on self-improvement.
The main features of the platform are as follows:
- Appointments via video, chat, or in-person meeting, supports from initial matching throughout therapeutic journey.
- Both a desktop platform and mobile app featuring self-improvement tools (goal setting and tracking, note taking, questionnaires) alongside administrative functions.
- Transparent pricing and credential listings ensure quality of highly trained certified clinical/counselling psychologists and psychotherapists.
The inconsistency in when therapists will or wont state their fees online can sometimes be really off putting, MTA avoids this user experience entirely by complete, upfront clarity with fees and session time lengths. The appointments can range from 30, 50 or 80 minutes with price points at £55-£165. MTA offers therapies applicable to most mental health ailments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy but also offers the highly specialist Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), which is most effectively used for those suffering from trauma disorders.
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MTA’s digital platform, both desktop and mobile app, allows users to approach their therapy experience in the most flexible way yet. A person unable to attend a full session one week could easily book a chat for 30 minutes, or if unable to see their therapist in person can still engage in that week’s session remotely, instead of giving it up entirely.
The founding team for MTA have stated the aim of the platform is to “remove as many barriers as possible, making it flexible and convenient without compromising on effectiveness.”
Another element of MTA that makes it so user friendly is the ability to self-assess in the platform, this process then helps to categorise symptoms which results in a specific therapy recommendation.
The transparency and clarity present in all of the information available on MTA’s desktop and mobile app was of real importance to Dr Kate Robinson.
Dr Robinson said of her experience in talking to people who are looking for private therapy, “They’ve told me that they don’t know where to start, what the different kinds of qualifications mean and how to ensure they find someone with the skills and training to be best placed to help them.” Another important element of this transparency on MTA were the fees, on this Dr Robinson said, “Our pricing is transparent & consistent across all practitioners, & set at a rate that reflects their years of training & experience whilst attempting to be as inclusive as possible for people wanting to invest in their mental wellbeing.”
Dr Robinson also emphasised that although a fresher, simpler, “demystified” way of searching for private therapy, MTA also has the “reassurance that all the therapists have been vetted & are high quality. We also wanted to normalise taking care of one’s emotional wellbeing & encourage more people to address issues that may be holding them back.”
From the practitioner perspective, Dr Robinson said they want MTA to give the control and freedom back to the therapists themselves, not to impose restrictions such as telling therapists “what therapy to offer or for how long, without having the necessary expertise to make such decisions & without allowing the therapist & client to determine this together.”
MTA allows for therapists to be matched with people who would directly and very specifically benefit from their expertise (think back to the self-assessment tools for users).
Again, flexibility within the MTA platform is one of the things that makes it most appealing for both practitioner and user. Dr Robinson said, “We believe flexibility is crucial which is why therapists can choose whether to offer in person or online sessions (or a combination).”
Concluding on the notions of flexibility for users Dr Robinson stated “The app enables people to arrange their sessions on the go, as well as being able to access their therapy materials any time they need to, thereby enhancing the therapy process & broadening the work out beyond the 50 minutes per week, for example, that they might spend with their therapist.”
Moving away from the traditional 50 minutes once a week, in-person, in a therapist’s office is a refreshing approach to private therapy that many of us, in our varying, busy, modern lives need. Not only this, but it allows people who need that flexibility to access help and therapy who otherwise may not have been able to.
MTA is launching at a time where, due to the pandemic, many of us are feeling the strain on our mental health. With the features of chats, video calls and self-improvement tools to access between sessions, My Therapy Assistant is prepped for a world affected by COVID-19.
My Therapy Assistant will be available to access from the 19th of April at:
https://mytherapyassistant.com and available as a mobile app through Apple Store or Google Play.