Wysa Therapist Review – Best Affordable Mental Health App in 2022
Are you looking to get professional help as part of your improved wellness habits in 2022, but not sure if you can afford it?
I was in the same place when I had just graduated from university until I found the mental health app I currently use. That’s why I decided to share my Wysa therapist review with you.
If you had in-person therapy before, you may be wondering if you could get the same benefit from message-based online therapy.
Don’t worry. I will walk you through how this app works, how to get an effective session over messaging, pricing, and pros and cons!
Ready to find out if Wysa is for you?
YES! Let’s do this!
Wysa App Overview
1. What Is Wysa?
Wysa is a CBT-based (cognitive behavioral therapy) mental health app, and it was created to help people keep track of their mental health. Wysa is the name of the artificial intelligence-based chatbot, and you can talk to Wysa 24/7 whenever you need.
When I first started using the wysa app, I thought the chatbot wouldn’t work and would give me random answers or questions. It doesn’t work perfectly, but talking to Wysa can be really useful since it can help you reframe your thoughts.
What does this mean?
Well, when we are worried about something, we usually get stuck in the same thought patterns, and by talking and answering questions, this app can help you get out of the cycle! In other words, Wysa can help you cultivate self-awareness in your mental health!
Don’t get me wrong. This chatbot can’t replace an experienced cognitive-behavioral therapist. After my GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) was getting worse, I decided to get help from a human therapist.
It is free to talk to Wysa. However, in-app purchases are required to use the Wellness Packs which include many different guided meditations for different occasions.
2. How long are Wysa therapy sessions?
Wysa is not an in-person therapy. It is message-based and one counseling session takes 30 minutes. You can choose the counseling time depending on your schedule, and you can book as many sessions as you want with no extra charge.
I like that I can book unlimited sessions whenever I want. When I was a university student, I used to go to my school’s counseling room once a week, but sometimes I was going through a really tough time and that one session per week wasn’t enough.
Also, some issues were urgent and it was hard for me to wait until I could talk to my therapist. With Wysa, you can change your appointment up to 3-hours before the session begins.
At first, I thought a 30-minute session was too short since my counseling session was 50 minutes at my university. However, as I said, whenever you feel like you need to discuss more things with your therapist, you can always book more sessions or send messages.
3. How Can I Meet A Good Therapist?
You?ll be assigned a therapist once you pick your preferable counseling time, and I recommend that you take a couple of sessions with the therapist before making a decision.
Keep in mind that it takes some time to find out if the therapist is a good match, just like in-person therapy.
I would try at least a couple of weeks of talking to the same therapist, and if you don’t like their approach, you can tell Wysa support and they will find a new therapist for you.
My therapist at university always told me to tell her if she said something I didn’t like or if she misunderstood something. It’s important to let your therapist know if you didn’t like something because your therapist isn’t a psychic after all!
If you are still not satisfied after you tell your therapist what you don’t like, you should request a new therapist.
Is Online Counseling As Effective As In-Person Counseling?
According to the American Psychology Association, online counseling is as effective as face-to-face counseling. Also, studies show messaging therapy can be as effective as talking to in-person therapists.
Before you start using mental health apps like Wysa, you need to keep these things in mind:
Pros of online therapy:
- Much more affordable than face-to-face therapy
- You can get therapy in your comfort zone
- The schedule is more flexible (Wysa lets you change the schedule 3 hours prior to the session)
- You can get therapy sessions more than once a week.
Cons of online therapy
- Because Wysa doesn’t track your exact geolocation, they can’t get help you when you are in a crisis
- It can definitely be different experience compared to in-person therapy since you don’t see your therapist’s body language and facial expression
- It may not be suitable for more severe mental health conditions
- If you prefer face-to-face communication, it may be hard for you
Personally, I chose Wysa mainly for financial reasons. I compared other options and Wysa was the cheapest. I’m not going to lie — it was definitely challenging at first to get used to message-based therapy.
Why is that?
If you are practising in-person therapy, you can have a normal conversation with your therapist. However, on Wysa, you type something and you have to wait to get a response because your therapist is thinking and typing back to you!
I’ve been using this mental health app for over one year now, and I want to share tips with you about how to have a productive conversation with your therapist over message in the next section.
How To Get Counseling Effectively On Wysa
There are pros and cons for mental health apps like Wysa, but you can definitely benefit from this app a lot if you use it in the right way.
1. Before you match up with a therapist
You can tell Wysa what kind of issues you’d like to discuss with your therapist. In this process, I recommend telling what kind of therapist you are looking for. Wysa has many experienced therapists, but each therapist’s approach is different.
For example, you can request someone compassionate and good at listening. Or you can request someone who can give you good advice.
2. After you match up with a therapist
After Wysa matches you up with a therapist, you can send messages to your therapist before the first session. In order to have an effective first session, you should let your therapist know what kind of things you are struggling with right now. You may also want to let your therapist know if you have or had any history of mental health issues.
Also, be patient during sessions. Unlike in-person sessions, you may not get a response from your therapist right away. However, you can see “typing…” while your therapist is typing a reply to you.
If you feel like you couldn’t talk about everything you wanted, you can let your therapist know what you’d like to talk about in the next session or tell him/her that you’ll leave a message later.
The good thing is, if your therapist is available the next day, you can book a session!
3. After each therapy session
You can keep updated with your therapist outside of therapy sessions, which I really like about this app. Because in a traditional therapy session, I have to wait until the next session and I usually forget what was going on a week ago unless it was really important!
In this way, your therapist can better understand what?s going on in your life, and you can talk about it more in the next session.
How much does it cost to talk to Wysa therapists?
The price varies depending on where you live.
In the US
- Monthly: $80
- Quarterly: $144
Price comparison with other online counseling apps
- Better Help – $240-600 a month (Video, audio, live chat communication options)
- Talk space – $65 per week or $260 per month (Live video, audio, chat)
Is Wysa worth it? Is Wysa right for you?
So here is the question you may have. How do I know if Wysa is right for me?
I strongly recommend Wysa for those reasons
- You can book sessions based on your convenience (you can also change the session schedule 3 hours prior)
- Unlimited sessions and message support
- You can take a therapy session in your own comfort space and no one needs to know
- It is so affordable compared to other online therapy apps and in-person therapy sessions
I do want to remind you that it may feel awkward getting a therapy session over message at first since you can’t see your therapist’s facial expressions. For me, I got used to it after a little while because I decided to be more expressive of my emotions, and I can tell that my therapist cares about me over text too.
However, each person has a different preference. I really like Wysa and I kept using Wysa. My partner used Wysa too for a half year but he didn’t like it since he realized that he prefers in-person contact.
If you feel like you prefer having a session with your therapist over video, you can take a look at this article for other mental health app options!
My final thoughts on Wysa
I started using Wysa in September 2020 because I started to develop an anxiety problem from working at a startup company as a software engineer. Because my anxiety was so strong, I couldn’t stop thinking about my work, and my boyfriend strongly recommended I consult with mental health professionals.
At first, I was reluctant and didn’t believe I needed help again since I’d had therapy sessions over two years at my university, and I thought I knew how to handle difficult situations.
I would say getting help from a therapist on Wysa was one of the best decisions I made in my life. Even if you don’t suffer from severe mental health issues, life can throw a curve ball at you at any time.
My therapist helped me so much over one and a half years through cultivating self-awareness of both my emotions, and the difficulties I experienced with my family.
Before I started getting help from my current therapist on Wysa, I often couldn’t get out of my negative thought spirals. I definitely wasn’t aware of why I was having those thoughts.
Now, I worry less and feel anxious less. Why? Because I became really good at coming up with solutions, and not feeling hopeless. Also, when a negative voice comes up in my mind, I can recognize it’s not my own voice and that it’s just what my mom was telling me when I was growing up.
Overall, I’m super happy that I started using this app, and I’m planning on continuing to use this app to learn more about myself and continue to cultivate my emotional wellness.