The Difference: On Demand Therapy

The right talk at the right time can make all The Difference.

Bea
Health + Science
$5,110
pledged of $25,000 goal
45
Backers
20
Days Left
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Project Ends on December 31, 2018

Project Description

With reports of anxiety and depression going up across all age categories, mental health services are more in-demand than ever, yet access to high-quality therapy remains a huge hurdle, especially if you don't have health insurance. Easy access is now possible with The Difference; our voice tech leapfrogs these barriers to meet the user right where they are - on the phone!"

 

 

We've built Amazon's very first Alexa Skill for therapy! By merging psychology with technology, we've created an accessible, affordable, anonymous way to get support on your own time in your own space. Now any person, anywhere in the world, as long as they have a phone, will be able to connect with a live, human therapist within 30 minutes or less. 

 

 

All you need is an Alexa-enabled device, an access code, and a phone. Enable The Difference Alexa Skill and our talented team of therapists will be on-call for you from 9am-9pm EST. No scheduling necessary, just call our name and we'll be there! 

Though all conversations with The Difference are initiated via your smart speaker, our therapist will call you directly on your phone to protect your privacy. 

 

 

Alexa Voice Service is an intuitive and interactive voice technology available through the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot. Alexa acts as a virtual personal assistant that can connect you with just about anything you need with Alexa Skills. The Difference is a Skill available through all Alexa-enabled devices. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bea Arthur, LMHC is a Columbia University-trained psychotherapist, startup founder, and author who works with high-performance individuals in high-pressure work environments. Her career lives at the intersection of psychology and technology and her third company, The Difference, provides on-demand access to therapy as Amazon's first mental health Alexa Skill.

 

Additionally, Bea was the first African-American female founder in Y Combinator and was named Entrepreneur to Bet On by Newsweek Magazine as well as one of Bumble's 100 Most Inspirational New Yorkers. She is also an editorial contributor and host for ForbesWomen, where she hosts Office Hours, a career therapy digital series providing intra-praneurship advice to upwardly mobile women in today's hottest companies.

 

 

Updates

The Project FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

How does this work?

We believe the right talk at the right time can make all The Difference, so our goal is to connect you by phone with a live, licensed human therapist in 30 minutes or less. Think of us as a customer service hotline for your mind. 

To get started, just sign up to register and we give you a custom PIN code. During sign up, you'll be able to choose the topic you want to talk about; then whenever you need a professional pep talk, just log in and request a call. To connect to us via Alexa, we'll also need your Amazon ID so we can send you the private link to enable the Skill.

Once you're set up, we tell you how long the wait is before you’re placed in a queue to speak to one of The Difference therapists. You can choose to listen to music or a guided meditation while you wait, or just leave us a voice mail so your therapist knows what you want to talk about and can jump right into the session when s/he calls you back. You’ll get a reminder text two minutes before we’re ready for you, then your therapist calls you directly on your phone. To protect your privacy, both your number and our therapists’ phone numbers are encrypted.

How do I choose my therapist?

You don’t! The process of choosing a therapist can be overwhelming and it’s easy to give up on the search when there’s too many options without enough info to find the right fit for your personality. So what we do instead is let you choose the issue(s) you want to help with when you set up your account; for example, a relationship conflict, work stress, loss/grief, or even existential anxiety. Then whenever you call in, you are assigned to the team of therapists who specializes in your area of concern.

Do I talk to the same therapist every time?

It depends on your plan.

How do plans work?

Glad you asked! We have two plans: The Pep Talk Plan and The Partner Plan.

With the Pep Talk Plan, we like to think of it as “therapy-lite,” when you just need a calming energy and objective perspective to talk you through a high stress/low mood moment. We want to be there for you before you send the angry text/email! You are assigned to the next available therapist in your category each time you call, and these sessions are 30 minutes.

With the Partner Plan, you work with the same dedicated therapist each time, and don’t have to wait in the queue. You can just request a call and we guarantee a same-day appointment. This is more for users who want to develop a relationship with the therapist to work through an ongoing issue; these sessions are 60 minutes.

Are you available 24/7?

That’s our goal for next year but while we’re in beta, we have limited service hours of 4-9pm EST.

When is your official launch?

At the moment, we are running a closed beta/pilot and testing with early users to make sure we have the most excellent emotional experience anywhere. You can join the wait list for our official opening in January 2019.

To begin a scheduled session, simply log in to your account page at the time of your appointment and your therapist will call you. Please make sure to enter your Skype address in your Account Settings.

IMPORTANT: If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let your therapist know 24 hours in advance and you will be able to reschedule for a later date. However, if you cancel the same day or are more than ten minutes late to a session, your credits will be adjusted as if you had attended. Our therapists work hard to be available when you need them so please respect their commitment to you by being on time.

Who are you people?

You can trust that our service is both professional and accredited. All of our counselors are state-licensed, extensively trained and experienced, and we have been especially selective in recruiting so that no matter who you speak with, you have a good experience. In your dashboard, you will have access to the therapists’ profile pages to view their education, experience and credentials.

Is this site totally secure?

The Difference takes confidentiality very seriously and all of our therapists are expressly prohibited from discussing or releasing your information to any individual, agency, or corporation, except if you indicate that you wish to do harm to yourself or others, or if such release is required by law <link to Terms &Conditions>. We do not record any calls, and we only collect the bare minimum of personal information to be used only in relation to your membership. When you terminate, your information will be permanently removed from our records. We will never disclose your email address or financial information for third-party usage and have taken every precaution to make sure your information is private and protected.

The Difference may use your contact information to get in touch with you regarding the status of your membership or we may request feedback about your experience with us. This is a completely safe and secure site where you can relax and feel free, knowing your privacy is guaranteed.

For more information, we encourage you to learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Can I change plans after I sign up?

Yes. Simply click Change My Membership in your account settings to view your options.

Can I change therapists?

We truly love the team that we’ve built, and are sure you will too. However, we understand that comfort and trust are essential to make the counselor-client relationship successful, and that sometimes, there just isn’t a connection. In these cases, we encourage our members to write in with any comments or concerns to info@thedifference.co

If it’s an issue that can be worked out, such as availability of appointments, we’ll do our best to make it work. But if you’re just not feeling it, let us know and we’ll end it for you – no questions, no awkwardness. If you’d like, we can then recommend someone who might be a better fit based on your preferences and personality.

Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

No, The Difference is a pay-as-you-go service. There are no contracts or commitments on your part – just pay month to month. If you cancel, you will be billed for the active month but you won’t be billed again.

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal. At this time, we can only process payments online and do not accept health insurance or any third-party payers. However, we do provide invoices with your appointment history to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

How do I cancel?

When you feel like you’ve gotten what you need, you may cancel at any time by clicking here <link to Account Settings Page>. In the interest of protecting your identity, all information related to your profile will be deleted permanently when you terminate your membership. If you think you might want to re-activate your account at some point, you can simply pause your plan, which allows you to recover your history in the future.

Is there a time limit for appointments?

Sessions are either 30- or 60-minutes in length depending on your plan.

Will my credits “rollover”?

No, your credits must be used within a month of purchasing them or they will expire. If you have a monthly subscription, your credits will renew when you are billed each month, and if you are paying as you go, you will need to purchase another session if your credit(s) expire.

Why was I charged again?

If you signed up for a subscription plan, you will be billed monthly when your membership renews. A week before your renewal date, you will receive a reminder email with the date your plan renews and instructions on how to pause or cancel your account. If you are having trouble using your credits within a month, or do not want to be billed monthly, you can choose to downgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go Plan, which means you only will be charged for each session you purchase and you will not be automatically billed on a monthly basis.

 

 

12/11/2018
Monetary Contribution
$25
Molly Beck
12/09/2018
Pep Talk Playlist
$25
12/07/2018
High There 😎
$150
Lisa Nicole Bell
12/06/2018
Social Media Shoutout
$20
12/06/2018
Monetary Contribution
$5
12/05/2018
The Difference Diary
$50
ANITA ARTHUR
12/05/2018
Pep Talk Playlist
$25
Lisa Q. Fetterman
12/05/2018
Pep Talk Playlist
$25
DK
12/05/2018
High There 😎
$150
12/04/2018
The Partner Plan
$150
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

6 Supporters
Contribute
$15
Social Media Shoutout

As a thank you for supporting The Difference, I'm going to give you so much social love you won't even know to handle it. 

3 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
Pep Talk Playlist

All the happy songs that will always cheer you up.

10 Supporters
Select this reward
$50
The Difference Diary

A custom branded journal to explore and evolve your thinking.

6 Supporters
Select this reward
$90
Three Pack of Pep Talks - Pilot Pricing

1 month subscription which includes three 30-minute phone sessions

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$125
Thinking of You Care Package

Gift a 60 minute therapy session + gorgeous flowers to pep up your friend

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$150
High There 😎

High-quality CBD pills plus one month of the Pep Talk Plan. 

3 Supporters
Select this reward
$150
The Partner Plan

1 month subscription which includes 3 hour-long sessions with the same therapist

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$175
Cozy Comfort Session

Get a 60 minute therapy session + a high end 15lb weighted blanket, which helps with everything from anxiety to insomnia. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
Amazon Awesome!

Amazon Spot smart speaker + one month of service.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
The Difference Founding Supporters

We will recognize you on TheDifference.co as a Founding Supporter

1 Supporter
Select this reward
$2,500
Spot in the Seed Round

Guaranteed access to The Difference's official round opening January 2019

0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

6 Supporters
Contribute
$15
Social Media Shoutout

As a thank you for supporting The Difference, I'm going to give you so much social love you won't even know to handle it. 

3 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
Pep Talk Playlist

All the happy songs that will always cheer you up.

10 Supporters
Select this reward
$50
The Difference Diary

A custom branded journal to explore and evolve your thinking.

6 Supporters
Select this reward
$90
Three Pack of Pep Talks - Pilot Pricing

1 month subscription which includes three 30-minute phone sessions

5 Supporters
Select this reward
$125
Thinking of You Care Package

Gift a 60 minute therapy session + gorgeous flowers to pep up your friend

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$150
High There 😎

High-quality CBD pills plus one month of the Pep Talk Plan. 

3 Supporters
Select this reward
$150
The Partner Plan

1 month subscription which includes 3 hour-long sessions with the same therapist

7 Supporters
Select this reward
$175
Cozy Comfort Session

Get a 60 minute therapy session + a high end 15lb weighted blanket, which helps with everything from anxiety to insomnia. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
Amazon Awesome!

Amazon Spot smart speaker + one month of service.

2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
The Difference Founding Supporters

We will recognize you on TheDifference.co as a Founding Supporter

1 Supporter
Select this reward
$2,500
Spot in the Seed Round

Guaranteed access to The Difference's official round opening January 2019

0 Supporters
Select this reward