In New York Magazine’s March 29-April 11, 2021 issue, features writer Molly Fischer reports on the world of therapy apps, looking at how the overwhelming demand for professional counseling drove slickly marketed companies to promise services they cannot possibly provide. At a time when tech companies are having trouble cultivating a sense of trust with their consumers, therapy apps are no different, in part because of the discrepancy between the service apps are selling versus the service consumers are receiving.
“Finding a therapist you like and can afford is a giant pain, so it’s no surprise these apps have found a market by promising to make the process simple and convenient,” says Fischer. “People need mental health care! But you have to ask whose agenda the apps are really serving — because it’s not necessarily patients or therapists.” Fischer herself has experienced the shortcomings of these services: “As someone who convinced herself she no longer needed a therapist at the beginning of the pandemic and lived to regret that choice, I was excited to dig into the question of what people actually need out of therapy and what tech can and can’t do to help.”
To illustrate Fischer’s piece, the cover of the issue features a very long iPhone, and the sort of anxiety monologue that’s ill-suited to texting.