Online therapy company Talkspace announced on Tuesday that it will begin offering Retail Therapy to its members.
While experts have seldom considered retail therapy as a legitimate form of psychiatric treatment, Talkspace is introducing a way for clients to connect with a licensed psychologist who doubles as a personal shopper.
After dialing in and entering a department store or mall of the patient’s choice, an experienced retail therapist will gently encourage their client to buy whatever they want, offering reassuring phrases like “you deserve this,” and “you need this right now.”
Talkspace retail therapists have been trained to encourage members to stay on the line, in case they attempt to reason themselves into not buying something.
“I almost talked myself out of shopping because I remembered rent was due the next day,” said beta tester Aretha Gray. “But then my retail therapist Diane said that I need to ‘live in the moment.’ Now, I’m the happy owner of a knitting kit, three new pairs of sneakers, and a stuffed giraffe!”
“Don’t have the disposable income to buy stuff you don’t need?” said Talkspace CEO and Co-Founder Oren Frank, in a recent promotion. “Well, you can’t put a price on happiness.”
For Retail Therapy clients who can’t afford the full subscription price, Talkspace will be offering a lower tier that will encourage them to buy off the clearance rack.