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As people turn to the convenience of digital platforms for mental health support, there are now more therapy apps than ever. Research has shown that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy for many people. Additionally, it offers the convenience of attending sessions from the comfort of your own home at prices far cheaper than most traditional in-office visits.
Calmerry is one of the newer online therapy platforms that has been gaining a lot of traction. But, is it worth a try? We checked out Calmerry to learn whether the platform is user-friendly and how effective the therapists and therapy sessions are compared to in-person and other platforms. Keep reading to see the full review.
What Exactly is Calmerry?
Calmerry is a newcomer to the online therapy space headquartered in Washington. It was created by a team of entrepreneurs from the US and Europe in response to the surge in online therapy demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calmerry states that its mission is to “make therapy affordable and accessible to anyone.” They currently have an extensive network of therapists throughout the United States. Although they are new, they have experienced considerable growth and are rapidly becoming one of the largest online therapy platforms in America.
Overview: How Does Calmerry Work?
Calmerry operates as a weekly or monthly subscription service providing users with sessions by licensed therapists. The platform uses an app or interactive web platform that can be accessed via smartphone, tablet, or desktop. It allows clients to have 24/7 access to their assigned therapist through a messaging service. Depending on the subscription plan, users can also book up to four live 30-minute video sessions with their therapist each month.
Plans and Pricing
Calmerry is a subscription service offering an introductory one-week plan and two monthly plans for individual therapy. It is a bit confusing that even their monthly plans are billed weekly, but on the other hand, some might find it motivating to engage more with their therapist when they see that recurring charge each week. They currently offer a discount of 30% off of the first month for new users. Here are the subscription plans available for therapy on Calmerry:
- Therapy Journey Start: Unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed therapist for 1 week. Price: $59.95/week
- Message Therapy: Unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed therapist for one month, but billed weekly. Includes 24/7 messaging with guaranteed daily responses. Price: $52.99/week
- Message + Video Therapy: Unlimited messaging therapy with a professional therapist for one month plus four video 30-minute live sessions. Includes 24/7 messaging with guaranteed daily responses. Price: $89.99/week
Calmerry recommends people to try out the platform using the “Therapy Journey Start” plan and adjust their plan accordingly. There is also an option for couples therapy, which is listed at the same price as individual therapy.
Calmerry Ease of Use: Desktop and Mobile App
Calmerry uses an extremely user-friendly interface. It is easy to navigate with the ability to switch between using desktop and the mobile app at any time. It is available for both iOS and Android users.
You can sign up for Calmerry on desktop or by downloading the Calmerry app. You’ll be asked to provide an email address and password. You will then be sent a verification code which you can use to verify your account and complete the set-up process. The next step is an intake interview which will be used to match you with a therapist. If you live in the US, you will be matched with a therapist in your own state. International clients will be assigned a therapist based on availability and suitability.
During the interview process you will be asked basic questions like age, name, nickname and a questionnaire about your current concerns. Calmerry screens you for depressed mood, anxiety, interpersonal problems, eating issues, trauma and suicidal feelings. The intake form will then gather general information about your previous experience with therapy and therapist preferences (i.e. gender and expertise). Before you can continue, they also ask for your phone number.
Once you have completed the form you will receive a screen that gives you a survey summary, assessing your emotional wellbeing and projected progress. If you want to be matched with a therapist, you must complete the payment page and proceed to pay for your first week. You will then automatically be matched with a therapist within a couple of hours.
You have the option to chat with a mental health assistant or customer support at any point before paying. They offer immediate support for any questions you may have.
Once you have paid and been matched you’ll gain access to a secure virtual therapy room. You can access this room from your preferred web browser or on your mobile phone using the Calmerry app. You’ll be able to view your therapist’s profile, expertise, and background information.
The Calmerry room offers an excellent chat platform that is similar to many familiar chat screens. You can send text messages to your therapist at any time with guaranteed daily responses. At the top of the screen, you’ll be notified about your therapist’s approximate response time. You can set up notifications on your phone when using the app that will notify you when your therapist has replied, otherwise you will receive an email notification. You can view the entire chat history with your therapist at any time.
Calmerry Counselor Qualifications
Calmerry requires each of its therapists to be fully licensed with 2,500 hours of clinical experience. The therapists are verified, and background checked before joining the platform. They are each certified by their state’s professional board based on each state’s exam, practice, and licensing qualifications.
Calmerry therapists are experienced clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of the Calmerry therapists are stated to be educated with a master’s or a doctoral degree in their field.
Unsurprisingly, there is also a great deal of variability regarding expertise and approaches to therapy. This is a positive aspect as you can find a therapist that aligns with your specific needs based on the intake interview and your presenting concerns.
What Is Calmerry Therapy Like?
After my sign-up interview, I was matched with a licensed professional counselor. Her specific approach to therapy was listed as client-centered therapy with strength-based approaches.
I was matched with my counselor around 1 hour after my payment was processed and was able to begin messaging her immediately. Her first response to my greeting was sent within an hour of my “hello” message. She was very warm, welcoming, and made me feel like it was a safe and secure space to share my concerns. She also took time to ask how the pandemic was affecting me.
As our conversation continued, she tended to respond within an hour or two nearly every time. Her messages were all very thoughtful and she encouraged me to book a video session. I was able to quickly and easily book a session that was flexible to my schedule.
Video sessions with therapists are conducted directly on the Calmerry platform. I received several reminder emails and was asked to login 15 minutes before my video session to confirm my attendance. I could then watch to see when my therapist was ready to proceed.
Overall, my therapist was extremely professional and offered a warm ear and expert advice. I also felt as though she was truly available at any time and was dedicated to providing thoughtful and helpful responses. Using Calmerry truly felt like a support system at my fingertips. I looked forward to logging in to read my therapist’s replies and found myself eager to attend video sessions. Unlike other platforms, Calmerry therapists appear to be less overworked and more available for their clients.
Although I did not feel the need to use it, Calmerry offers the ability to switch therapists if your match is not suitable. If you want to switch, you simply have to chat with customer support through their live chatroom on their website and app or simply email their support team directly with a request.
Best Way to Use Calmerry
Unlike many other apps where there is a much longer waiting time for responses, Calmerry made it feel like you were directly connected to your therapist. As a result, it was useful for immediate problems and long-term issues.
Given the high qualifications of therapists, promptness of replies, and option for video sessions, Calmerry is an excellent substitute for in-person therapy. For many people, it may even be better due to the fact that you also get 24/7 messaging support. It was very therapeutic to be able to write about my problems knowing that I would have an upcoming video session that would allow me and my therapist to talk over these issues.
To get the most out of Calmerry, it is suggested to sign-up for their video and messaging plan. However, if you are looking for quick advice and insights on specific issues, messaging may do the trick.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Calmerry’s platform is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They assure users that all communication taking place on the website or app is encrypted and stored on secure servers in the US. For further protection, account access also requires you to enter using a password you created. You can add extra identity protection by communicating with your therapist using a nickname rather than your legal name.
Given that Calmerry therapists are licensed, they must also abide by ethical codes and confidentiality in their state. This means that your discussions with your therapist are confidential.
Specialties and Areas of Expertise
There are many therapists on Calmerry with training in various modalities of therapy. Calmerry reports that therapists are trained in approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness, gestalt therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and narrative therapy. Each therapist on Calmerry has to adapt their modality of therapy to an online format which may result in significant differences in quality of delivery.
There is no definitive list of conditions treated by therapists at Calmerry, but the platform is stated to be useful for concerns relating to:
- Anxiety and Stress
- Low self-esteem
- Eating disorders
- Family conflict
- LGBTQ+ issues
- Relationship problems
- Anger management
- Emotional abuse
- Career counseling
Many therapists on Calmerry specialize in couples counseling. Couples will share the same therapist and can either log on together for joint sessions or speak to their therapist about individual sessions.
Calmerry offers couples counseling for problems such as:
- Sexual health
- Sexual orientation
- Fertility issues
- Work and finances
Other Notable Features
In addition to texting and online sessions, Calmerry offers access to a personal treatment plan with short-term and long-term goals. This helps users work with their therapist to keep tabs on their progress over time which can help guide treatment approaches. They also provide an extensive “Helpful Tips” section when you log into your account, which offers guidance on how to get the most out of online therapy.
Does Calmerry Work?
Whether or not Calmerry works for you depends on many factors. However, as far as online therapy platforms go, it is an excellent option.
More work needs to be done to examine specific modalities of online therapy, but overall most research indicates that providing therapy through internet-based platforms is a legitimate form of intervention that can help people improve their mental health. It is still unclear exactly how specific modalities of therapy can be used effectively online and which conditions are suitable for this form of treatment.
If you are looking for support for any of the conditions listed by Calmerry and your mental health concerns are not severe, it’s possible that you’ll find this platform helpful for addressing your issues and building strategies to work through many of your problems.
Finding affordable and accessible help from a mental health professional can be a difficult process. Calmerry offers to fill this void with their easy-to-use and affordable platform.
There are several benefits to Calmerry such as being able to vent about your problems as they arise with 24/7 messaging support. Additionally, Calmerry offers a practical way to get therapy sessions with a qualified mental health professional from the comfort of your own home.
Overall, the platform is easy to use, offers counseling with qualified professionals, and allows you to switch therapists if you are not pleased with your match. They offer excellent customer support and highly responsive help for any concerns.
Calmerry is an excellent option with therapists that are extremely professional and responsive. If you are looking for a supportive network and actionable advice for your problems, Calmerry is a convenient and affordable solution.
Pros & Cons
- Offers introductory weekly subscription package
- Highly qualified therapists
- Therapists are very responsive to messages
- Switch therapists at any time
- Therapists cannot prescribe medication