Living in the 21st century means having the opportunity to draw on an ever-expanding array of digital remedies to solve everyday problems. From simple tools like smartphone apps that track daily tasks to software suites that tackle the complex work of building businesses, online platforms have been developed to create an efficient solution to all of life's obstacles. In recent years, we have also witnessed this transformation within the mental healthcare field. Companies like Talkspace have developed online therapy platforms, making access to mental healthcare services more affordable and easier than ever before.
Now, Talkspace will combine that expertise in providing online mental health care with another popular service through the acquisition of Lasting, the leading relationship counseling app. This acquisition marks a milestone for Talkspace in their continuing mission to remove the stigma around mental wellness as they seek to build a platform that ensures quality mental health services are available to all.
Talkspace was founded in 2012 by Oren and Roni Frank who shared the vision of providing "therapy to all." Following their own bout of marital problems, Oren and Roni turned to counseling, which saved their marriage. However, following their sessions, they noticed a gap between demand for counseling and availability; they found that access to mental healthcare, for many Americans, was both unaffordable and unavailable. To bridge this gap, they founded Talkspace. Since its inception, the company has expanded tremendously, and today it offers numerous services to clients, including unlimited messaging services via text, video, and voice messaging, as well as live video sessions, all with a qualified therapist. They also offer therapy for teens, psychiatry services, and couples counseling.
Lasting, which offers a slightly different experience, was founded in late 2017 by Steve Dziedzic; it is an app dedicated to helping users build healthier, happier relationships by working through targeted exercises for just a few minutes each day. Their mission: to help people love better.
Dziedzic's path to founding Lasting began during his time working at The Knot, where he was helping the 80 percent of engaged couples who use the service when they get married. While working there, he was impressed by the capacity that technology has to reach America's couples and help them establish their relationships. Inspired by his previous work and recent revelation, in 2016, Dziedzic started to embark on a scientific plunge into marriage - he became an expert on relationship health and a certified relationship educator. In 2017, he and his wife, Rebecca, partnered with psychotherapist Liz Colizza, a seasoned clinician and the current Head of Couples Therapy at Lasting, to develop Lasting, a simple, accessible, digital product dedicated to empowering couples who want to love each other better.
Lasting helps partners nurture their emotional connection and repair relationship issues. Dziedzic and his team relied on over 125 research studies to create the app, which consists of customized assessments and exercises designed to help couples reconnect. Couples select and follow sessions on the app, which cover topics including communication, conflict, repair, emotional connection, sexual connection, sexual desire, trust, money, family culture, appreciation, and dozens more.
Talkspace's acquisition of Lasting will help them build on their existing couples counseling platform. The current couples' services offered by Talkspace are similar to the tools Talkspace offers individuals. Couples interested in therapy first complete a brief assessment, pick their therapist, and start therapy. It's that simple! Therapists for Talkspace help couples:
Identify specific issues to work on with the support of an unbiased professional
Develop a solutions-oriented approach to rediscover their relationship's strengths
Gain insight into relationship patterns and dysfunctional dynamics
Practice conflict-resolution strategies for improved empathy and problem-solving skills
Learn communication tools to increase vulnerability and restore trust
By building in the more niche specialization that Lasting brings, Talkspace's platform is expanding its tools. Talkspace will now offer couples access to the app, which can be utilized outside their communication with their therapist. The hope is that the additional resources will provide individuals and couples deeper insight into their relationship, providing more growth opportunities.
Mark Hirschhorn, Talkspace President, recently commented on the acquisition: "Lasting, like Talkspace, believes deeply in the idea that technology can be leveraged to help people live healthier, happier lives. Over the years, the Lasting team has used science and data to help couples better understand and connect with one another, leading to better marriages, stronger overall health, and improved quality of life. We're thrilled to welcome Lasting into the Talkspace family, in what will be the first of many additions to the world's leading telebehavioral health platform."
Lasting founder Steven Dziedzic also spoke glowingly of the acquisition: "We are so pleased to be joining Talkspace, a company that has consistently demonstrated the immense capacity of telebehavioral health to better lives, particularly during these challenging times...With this move, we will be able to continue providing our industry-leading service to millions of more couples, with the added support of an innovative leader like Talkspace."
This is another step forward for Talkspace, and according to Talkspace President Mark Hirschhorn, it is the "First of Many" in the company's expanding suite of services. Over the past decade, the company has worked to build partnerships with multiple insurance providers as part of their campaign to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable mental healthcare. They have also established an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help aid in establishing a more extensive network for Americans. Today, they serve over 2 million people and cover nearly 40 million people nationwide.