Q&A: Struggling with mental health is hard enough; finding help shouldn’t be

The zealous work ethic and hustle that make Silicon Valley the center of entrepreneurship has a serious downside — they take an emotional and mental toll on workers.

So in true Silicon Valley fashion, efforts are afoot to tackle the problem by innovating the mental health industry itself. One such innovation is Two Chairs, a San Francisco-based startup that aims to improve the experience of seeking talk therapy.

Alex Katz founded Two Chairs in 2016 after watching his partner, as well as family and friends, struggle to navigate the mental health system to find a therapist they trust.

The company’s main feature is a questionnaire and matching software that asks patients about their personal background, expectations for therapy and emotional needs before pairing them with one of the company’s more than 40 full-time therapists. It’s based on research that shows a strong relationship with a therapist can improve a patient’s outcomes.

Two Chairs is also trying to remove barriers and the stigma of seeking therapy by simplifying the experience and giving its clinics a positive, modern vibe, Katz said. Each of Two Chairs’ six Bay Area clinics are decorated with nature-inspired decor, and patients can enjoy tea or a LaCroix while they wait, or decompress with essential oils after a session.

Two Chairs is an out-of-network provider, meaning it does not bill insurance companies directly, and charges $149 for an initial consultation, $180 for a full session of therapy and $50 per person for group therapy sessions. The company has served 2,000 patients since launching and opened its sixth clinic in downtown San Jose in September.

Terra Linda’s Marley Elwood drops the ball with the help of San Marin’s Eric Meyer on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Novato, Calif. There was about five minutes left in the first half of the game. (Frankie Frost/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Terra Linda’s Guy Lyons hauls in a pass minutes before the end of the first half on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Novato, Calif. San Marin’s #53 Bryce Duncan defends. (Frankie Frost/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

Terra Linda’s Leo De leon is injured after a play on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Novato, Calif. (Frankie Frost/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

San Marin’s Dante Dimare struggles for extra yardage despite Terra Linda’s Julian Deraffele’s best efforts to bring him down on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Novato, Calif. (Frankie Frost/Special to the Marin Independent Journal)

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Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

      

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