In the final scene of the classic movie Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, actor Peter Sellers zooms off into space straddling a rocket bomb as if it were a racehorse on a fast track to a new universe. That’s what I feel like. The rocket is telemedicine, and it has overtaken my life, carrying me into uncharted, exciting territory.
A few days ago MarketResearch.com published a list of “10 Companies to Watch in the Field of Telemedicine.” Many of them will bring a physician directly to your home via your computer to diagnose an illness or prescribe a medication. The two companies I work for specialize in Behavioral Health, or counseling and therapy.
The article reports that, “The mobile health market could reach an astounding $86.6 billion by 2020, a yearly increase of 20.8 percent over a five-year period.”
TalkSpace.com, one of the companies I work with, now employs over 200 fully credentialed and licensed therapists and is recruiting new ones at a rate of more than 50 a month. They serve a client base of well over 6,000 and growing. BetterHelp.com, the other company I work with, is becoming the Behavioral Health arm of Teladoc, another company on the list of “the big 10.”
For me, this means I can do the work I love in my comfy clothes, in my favorite spot in front of the sliding glass doors that overlook the lake beside my home. For my clients, it means having more affordable access to me via texting, live chats, audio and video messages, phone and Skype. Some of them use made-up names, and I don’t mind. They can feel safe telling me about the most private parts of their lives, because it’s confidential. We exchange messages as often as the client wishes, and we come up with solutions to their problems. One client said, “I just need someone to vent to,” and another said, “It helps to have another person’s perspective on things.” Then there are the heavy-duty issues like, “Should I marry this person who is an active alcoholic?” and, “How can I feel lovable when no one has ever loved me?” The elderly struggle with chronic illness and social isolation.
Many of my on-line clients are in their early 20’s and suffering from acute anxiety, so many that I think there may be an epidemic of anxiety going on. Or maybe it’s just about being 20; I remember that year in my life as being very stress-provoking, and I tell them that.
The best news is, the therapy works.
You can drop in at one of my online offices at www.betterhelp.com/samantha-white , or www.talkspace.com/room/samanthawhite. Or you can find me at my website, www.LifeCoachSamantha.com. Ride the rocket with me! (You can use a fake name.)