Insta-Zen: New App Connects You With a Coach or Therapist Over Live Video
We live in an on-demand-everything world. We don’t wait for anything -- ever. And now you can add therapy to the ever-expanding list of goods and services that you can order instantly.
Everbliss, which officially launched today, connects individuals with a life coach or therapist through live video. Customers can either book an appointment or select the “talk now” option to be connected with a trained professional immediately. If an expert isn’t immediately available, users have to pick from the listed practitioners for the next available appointment.
A slew of service-based industries have already started to include video chat. For example, Doctor on Demand lets you live chat with a doctor about medical issues, Quicklegal allows you to have a video chat with a lawyer on demand, and Wello lets you work out with a personal trainer over live video.
It’s not cheap to get a therapist on demand. A 15-minute session on everbliss costs $25, a 25-minute session costs $45 and a 50-minute session costs $90.
Let’s face it, when your world gets turned upside down, your friends are good for hugs and lots of heart-shaped-emoji-filled texts, but they aren’t equipped to be your therapist.
When a session is booked on everbliss, the therapist or life coach gets 80 percent of the fee and the company takes 20 percent as payment.
There are currently 150 life coaches and therapists on the app and and a short survey matches you with a professional depending on whether you want to talk about a relationship issue, a work-life balance stress or any other mental health anxiety. The company is working to grow its roster of life coaches and therapists daily.
The New York City-based startup, co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Taras Kravtchouk and Uli Beutter Cohen, currently is offering sessions in New York and California for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. The company plans to expand offerings to Android-based devices and other states.
Conversations with experts on everbliss are streamed through Tokbox, a HIPAA-compliant video streaming platform, so that your personal struggles don’t become public information.
To be sure, everbliss is a logical extension of an Uber-Instagram world and is a convenient bandage to stem the chaos if you find yourself in an emotional, stressful situation. But also, there is no replacing in-person, face-to-face therapy. Not everything can be communicated through a smartphone.Related: Reality Check: You Need to Care About More Than Your Business
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.