The Terrible Rise of Terrible Therapy Apps
Plus: opioids are killing more people than ever, but the mainstream media gets the story wrong. It's the latest Link Drop!
In today’s Link Drop: therapy apps are taking over the world, for better or worse (worse!), opioids are killing some people and helping others, therapists ponder how the fuck to deal with climate change, and more!
Onward to the links!
-BetterHelp, the online therapy corporation, has been partnering with celebrities to promote its services, leading to extremely tasteless and offensive incidents like Travis Scott offering a free month of therapy to people affected by the deaths at his concert—the same promotion they give many other people not affected by huge, public tragedies. The backlash was immediate, and for good reason: BetterHelp is known for providing substandard therapy, underpaying therapists, and selling your data to companies like Facebook. Unfortunately the backlash probably won’t stop the rise of the therapy apps, which, like Uber, are innovations only inasmuch as they find ways to efficiently and brutally drive down the cost of labor (in Uber’s case: cab drivers; in BetterHelp’s: therapists). Such is the perverse incentive of care under capitalism: whoever figures out how to do it cheapest, via exploitation and underpaying workers, will be rewarded. No wonder, then, that insurance companies are starting to offer to cover therapy apps like BetterHelp, but not normal, tried and true in-person therapy.
-A depressing statistic was released this week: 100,000 overdose deaths in a year, the highest ever recorded. The number represents a massive policy failure at the state, local and federal levels to do anything significant to make drugs, and drug users, safer. Zachary Siegel has a good thread looking into the numbers, and criticizing the mainstream media for misrepresenting one of the most important stories of the year.