With online therapy platform PlusGuidance, you can say goodbye to long waiting lines, endless dodging around consulting hours and worrying about running into a friend or colleague.
Therapy is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet it is quite a disorganized one. Its doors remain largely closed to those who most need it, while for some others, it is difficult to find these doors in the first place. This is what Nathaniel Smithies set out to correct by setting up PlusGuidance. When faced with a personal crisis, he found that navigating the maze of who to consult, where to go, and how to book appointments was a lot harder than he had anticipated. This motivated him to break down the walls that prevent people from getting the counselling help they need.
What they do
Therapy is, at its very core, a comfortable couch, and a person experienced in the art of first listening and then advising. Even so, there exists a considerable degree of stigma around initiating the process. With PlusGuidance, this is another barrier that can be demolished. Taking into account the sensitivity of the situation, it is a completely secure platform, and allows its users ownership over their data. It connects clients with their choice of online therapist based on a well archived directory. They can have secure video, voice and messaging sessions online.
The Business Model
Therapists can sign up with a profile and use video technology and other tools for free. If the therapist wishes to be a part of their submits public directory, they are charged 15 per cent along with a small payment fee for the sessions they have with clients who have found them through the PlusGuidance website. They also have organisations and charities using the platform through sub-domains, and they are charged monthly service fees according to their usage needs.
Towards a therapeutic future
Mostly propped up by funding from angel investors, Smithies is now looking to broaden horizons. In an interview with growthbusiness.co.uk, he said,
We’re now at the point where we need a new boost to make an app for PlusGuidance, and to amplify our marketing reach based on what we’ve learned in the past year by testing, tweaking and analysing different things.
When asked about the future, he added,
I want to still be running PlusGuidance which by then would have a much wider reach in the world. We’ll be one of the leading online therapy providers and the go-to website for choice and tailored mental health care.