The Difference is the first on-demand therapy service for corporations and communities
Alexa Voice Service is an intuitive and interactive voice technology.
It’s available through the Amazon Echo, Dot, Spot, and Show. Alexa acts as a virtual personal assistant that can connect you with just about anything you need with Alexa Skills. The Difference is an on-demand therapy Skill powered by Alexa.
We believe in a happier, healthier world. We believe in possibilities. We believe in you. Above all, we believe the right talk at the right time can make all The Difference.
We set out to reimagine therapy in the same way you can reimagine your life. By merging psychology with technology, we’ve created an accessible, affordable, and anonymous way to get therapy on your own time and in your own space. Welcome!
According to mental health licensing statutes, the law protects the privacy of all communications between a Client and a Practitioner. The Difference takes confidentiality very seriously and all of our Contractors are expressly prohibited from discussing or releasing your information to any individual, agency, or corporation except if such release is requested by a signed authorization form; or if a Client indicates intent to do harm to her/himself or others.
The Difference ensures compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act, and uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which ensures the maximum protection of privacy, for credit card transmittal, protected health information (PHI), and all encrypted communication. The Difference uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol for credit card transmittal, which ensures the maximum protection of privacy.
Limits of Confidentiality. There are some situations in which Practitioners are legally and ethically obligated to take actions they believe may be necessary to protect a Client or others from harm. If such a situation arises, the Practitioner will make every effort to fully discuss the issue with the Client before taking any action and will limit disclosure to what is necessary.The Difference Practitioners utilize encryption, firewall, virus and password protection in order to protect stored files and communication, as well as a commitment to destroy all records after a given period. We recommend Clients take further steps to ensure confidentiality by changing their passwords and deleting their web browser’s “cookies” regularly.
If a Practitioner has reason to believe that a child or vulnerable adult is being neglected or abused, the law requires that the situation be reported to the appropriate state agency.If a Client presents a clear and substantial danger of harm to his/herself or others, Practitioners are ethically obligated to take protective actions.
Client Conduct. The Difference and its Contractors hold our services to a high standard, and expect the same standard from users of this service. Registered users must be respectful to The Difference Practitioners and support staff. Clients may not stalk, threaten, harass, abuse, slander, or violate the legal and civil rights of any contractor, staff member, or any other user of our service. Absolutely no defamatory, racist, sexist, age-ist, size-ist, homophobic, vulgar or otherwise offensive statements will be tolerated or posted through this Site.
Clients may not gather or use information collected through the Site to sell or promote any goods or services for any commercial purpose. Nor will promotions unrelated to TheDifference.co, excessive forwarding, unsolicited mass distribution of email, junk mail, or spamming practices be permitted. The Difference will block any Client who engages in these practices from using this Site.
Personal Information. All The Difference therapists are extensively trained, state-licensed and independently insured, and are required to treat all information disclosed by Clients with the care and confidentiality required by these statutes. We encourage all Clients to learn more about these privacy practices at the American Counseling Association (ACA)’s website, www.counseling.org, or the American Psychology Association (APA)’s site, ww.apa.org. If you feel at any time that your privacy has been violated by a contractor, please immediately contact us at email@example.com.
YOU AGREE THAT BY USING THIS SERVICE YOU ARE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE AND ARE LEGALLY ABLE TO ENTER INTO A BINDING CONTRACT. ADDITIONALLY YOU AGREE THAT ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU IS TRUE AND ACCURATE.
By registering with this Site, you are providing informed consent to the terms and conditions of Membership for TheDifference.co (“The Difference” or “Site”), you (“Member”) acknowledge that you understand the nature of online counseling services as well as the duties, qualifications, and limitations of our contractors (“Practitioners” or “Contractors”), and that The Difference Experience Co (dba The Difference) has provided you with this information prior to providing you with any professional services.
The Difference Contractors. Member acknowledges that no Contractor, Practitioner, Clinician, or Therapist is an employee of The Difference Co, and this Site assumes no responsibility for any act or omission of any Practitioner. Though The Difference has thoroughly evaluated and verified each contractor’s credentials, we encourage all Members to do the same independently. Member recognizes that, though a mental health practitioner may be featured on the Site, The Difference cannot predict or assess the utility or effectiveness of services rendered by any independent contractor. Under no circumstances will The Difference, its employees, officers, directors, shareholders, or agents be held liable for any indirect, consequential, or punitive damages relative to the services provided by any of the practitioners accessed through this Site. All practitioners featured on TheDifference.co are independently licensed and insured, and any issue, warranty, or claim by a Member must directly address the offending Practitioner.
Certain degrees and diplomas dictate what a mental health practitioner can be called due to implementation of Title laws. Therefore, due to the different criterion and contexts of each contractors’ qualifications, these professionals may use the terms “Counselor,” “Psychotherapist,” and/or “Counselor” interchangeably. You may see the following titles used interchangeably: “LMSW” signifies a Licensed Master of Social Work, “LCSW” is Licensed Certified Social Worker, “LMFT” is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, “LPC” is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and “LMHC” is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
Member Eligibility. All practitioners are trained to screen for disorders which may not be appropriate for this medium. If you have any history of major psychiatric episodes, inpatient hospitalizations, drug/alcohol dependence, or have been diagnosed as any of the following: suicidal ideation, Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder Type 1, Mentally Ill/Chemically Addicted (MICA), and/or Schizophrenia – you must disclose this information to your Practitioner at the initial meeting. He or she may choose to continue your Membership or refer you to an agency in your area which can better serve your counseling needs. Additionally, all Practitioners will file a formal report if Member states any desire to do harm to him/herself or others. Practitioners reserve the right to terminate a relationship with a Member if service expectations are incompatible. Members who are found ineligible for services will be removed from the Site. The Difference recommends that those seeking psychiatric or medical advice seek services in person with a qualified professional.
TheDifference.co reserves the right to terminate membership to any user found ineligible for services, and may refuse all current or future use at any time.
IF YOU HAVE CONSIDERED OR ARE CONSIDERING SUICIDE, OR BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE A POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE SAFETY OF OTHERS, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 AND NOTIFY THE POLICE.
About Distance Counseling. Also known as Telepractice, Cyberpsychology, Text-Based Therapy, Telehealth, Behavioral Telehealth, and Online Therapy. Distance counseling is providing a psychotherapy service that is not conducted in person and is facilitated through the use of technology. Such technology may include, but is not limited to, telephone, email, internet, or videoconference. Distance Counseling is subject to all practice and ethical considerations discussed in this document and in the law, rules and regulations governing licensed practice in New York State. Disadvantages include varying time zones, cultural differences, language barriers, and strength of internet or phone connectio,n which may impact the delivery of services. Members may provide off-line contact information in case of a technology breakdown, or if reconnection is not possible. Members will not fault or issue any warranty for the failure of the internet or the performance of the Site’s technical platform.
Online Boundaries. Members should understand both the boundaries and expectations related to forming therapeutic relationships online. Any requests to Practitioners for “friendship,” business contacts, direct messages, “@” replies, “re-Tweets,” “tagging,” blog responses or requests for a blog response within social media sites will be ignored to preserve the integrity of the therapeutic relationship and protect sensitive information.
You understand that posting verbatim information from your communications with your practitioner to a third-party site, such as Facebook or Instagram, is discouraged in order to protect the confidentiality of the therapeutic process. Members may do so at will but cannot hold The Difference or its practitioners accountable for any effects this action may have.
Scope of Practice. This term indicates the specific area to which a practitioner may practice. As The Difference is an online service, our practitioners follow local and regional laws and codes of ethics as applicable to Members’ geographic locations.
According to national licensure requirements, our practitioners are permitted to provide psychotherapy services in all states excluding Arkansas, Florida, and Nebraska which issue geographical boundaries for distance counseling and require Practitioners to be licensed by that state. If a Member from Arkansas, Florida, or Nebraska chooses to engage in counseling through TheDifference.co, you understand and acknowledge that you will not be receiving state-licensed treatment, and should instead defer to the appointment as a confidential consultation.
The Difference services are not open to Members who live in a country that is prohibited by law, regulation, treaty, or administrative act from entering into trade relations with the United States.
Informed Consent/Nature of Counseling. There may be both benefits and risks while participating in counseling, distance or otherwise. Counseling may improve your ability to relate with others, provide a clearer understanding of yourself, your values, and your goals. Since counseling may also involve discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may also experience uncomfortable feelings. Counseling often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant improvement in feelings of distress. However, please understand there are no guarantees of what you will experience, and that you enter this Agreement and use The Difference services at your own risk. You agree that you understand the possible advantages and disadvantages of online therapy and shall not hold accountable The Difference or its contractors for any information or insight distributed here.
Fees. Members are charged per month for individual subscriptions in the amount of $20, $50, or $125, or $200. The Difference may change fees and/or services at any time, but will notify Members prior to amendment of service. Members are obligated to report to info@TheDifference.co in any case when a contractor attempts to bill a Member directly for his or her own practice, or a competing service. Such report should include a description of the service provided as well as the amount charged. Any discrepancy or problem in processing payments through this Site should also be reported to info@TheDifference.co.
If a practitioner and Member have mutually agreed to continue services “off-line,” Members must terminate their membership and meet independently of the Site at a rate determined by his or her practitioner.
Security. The Difference utilizes encryption for therapeutic exchanges and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol for financial transactions. Practitioners and Members – not TheDifference.co – will act as sole owners of the therapeutic record including all transcripts, notes, emails and/or billing information. All Member information will be permanently erased from the Site when a Member cancels his or her Membership.
TheDifference.co incorporates a mechanism for verifying the identity of Members by asking for a formal identification number such as date of birth, driver’s license, or other satisfactory evidence. Though Members may choose to utilize a username for participation on the Site, he or she must offer, at minimum, their full first and last name, home address, and a phone number to confirm identity. Any and all sensitive information stored in the The Difference database will be safe and protected by our platform. However, our services are based on several factors which exist outside of the Site; and as such, The Difference cannot guarantee service will be uninterrupted, timely, or secure.
Please immediately alert The Difference to any unauthorized use of your account, password, username, email, or other breach of security at info@TheDifference.co.
Copyright Notice. All information on this website is protected by copyright. You may not reproduce any part of this website without prior written permission from The Difference Experience Co. To request this permission, please contact us at info@TheDifference.co. Any web publications must include a link to our homepage.
TheDifference.co is owned exclusively by The Difference Experience Co. Thus, all features, fees, and functionality of this site are subject to change or termination with or without notice.
Disclaimer. Although we have taken great care in the preparation of this website, its content, and our practitioners, The Difference assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions and disclaims any and all liability for the consequences of your using the information on this website. This disclaimer does not exclude liability for death or personal injury as a result of negligence. You understand The Difference cannot be held responsible for a Member’s acceptance, reliance, or dependence on any services rendered by the Practitioners featured on this site.
This Agreement shall be interpreted only in accordance with the laws of the State of New York (excluding any rules governing choice of laws), and any legal proceeding associated with this Agreement will occur exclusively in the courts located in New York, New York.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does this work?
We believe the right talk at the right time can make all The Difference, so our goal is to connect you by phone with a live, licensed human therapist in 30 minutes or less. Think of us as a customer service hotline for your mind. Why can you call up Apple when your phone is down, but there’s no professionals to call when your mood is down? We’re changing that.
Just sign up to register and we give you a custom PIN code. Then whenever you need a professional pep talk, just log in and request a call. *Or you can call us directly at 262-PEP-TALK. We tell you how long the wait is before you’re placed in a queue to speak to one of The Difference therapists. You can choose to listen to music or a guided meditation while you wait, or just leave us a voice mail so your therapist knows what you want to talk about and can jump right into the session when s/he calls you back. You’ll get a reminder text two minutes before we’re ready for you, then your therapist calls you directly on your phone. To protect your privacy, both your number and our therapists’ phone numbers are encrypted.
How do I choose my therapist?
You don’t! The process of choosing a therapist can be overwhelming and it’s easy to give up on the search when there’s too many options without enough info to find the right fit for your personality. So what we do instead is let you choose the issue(s) you want to help with when you set up your account; for example, a relationship conflict, work stress, loss/grief, or even existential anxiety. Then whenever you call in, you are assigned to the team of therapists who specializes in your area of concern.
Do I talk to the same therapist every time?
It depends on your plan.
How do plans work?
Glad you asked! We have two plans: The Pep Talk Plan and The Partner Plan.
With the Pep Talk Plan, we like to think of it as “therapy-lite,” when you just need a calming energy and objective perspective to talk you through a high stress/low mood moment. We want to be there for you before you send the angry text/email! You are assigned to the next available therapist in your category each time you call, and these sessions are 30 minutes.
With the Partner Plan, you work with the same dedicated therapist each time, and don’t have to wait in the queue. You can just request a call and we guarantee a same-day appointment. This is more for users who want to develop a relationship with the therapist to work through an ongoing issue; these sessions are 60 minutes.
Are you available 24/7?
That’s our goal for next year but while we’re in beta, we have limited service hours of 4-9pm EST.
When is your official launch?
At the moment, we are running a closed beta/pilot and testing with early users to make sure we have the most excellent emotional experience anywhere. You can join the wait list for our official opening in January 2019.
To begin a scheduled session, simply log in to your account page at the time of your appointment and your therapist will call you. Please make sure to enter your Skype address in your Account Settings.
IMPORTANT: If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let your therapist know 24 hours in advance and you will be able to reschedule for a later date. However, if you cancel the same day or are more than ten minutes late to a session, your credits will be adjusted as if you had attended. Our therapists work hard to be available when you need them so please respect their commitment to you by being on time.
Who are you people?
You can trust that our service is both professional and accredited. All of our counselors are state-licensed, extensively trained and experienced, and we have been especially selective in recruiting so that no matter who you speak with, you have a good experience. In your dashboard, you will have access to the therapists’ profile pages to view their education, experience and credentials.
Is this site totally secure?
The Difference takes confidentiality very seriously and all of our therapists are expressly prohibited from discussing or releasing your information to any individual, agency, or corporation, except if you indicate that you wish to do harm to yourself or others, or if such release is required by law <link to Terms &Conditions>. We do not record any calls, and we only collect the bare minimum of personal information to be used only in relation to your membership. When you terminate, your information will be permanently removed from our records. We will never disclose your email address or financial information for third-party usage and have taken every precaution to make sure your information is private and protected.
The Difference may use your contact information to get in touch with you regarding the status of your membership or we may request feedback about your experience with us. This is a completely safe and secure site where you can relax and feel free, knowing your privacy is guaranteed.
Can I change plans after I sign up?
Yes. Simply click Change My Membership in your account settings to view your options.
Can I change therapists?
We truly love the team that we’ve built, and are sure you will too. However, we understand that comfort and trust are essential to make the counselor-client relationship successful, and that sometimes, there just isn’t a connection. In these cases, we encourage our members to write in with any comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
If it’s an issue that can be worked out, such as availability of appointments, we’ll do our best to make it work. But if you’re just not feeling it, let us know and we’ll end it for you – no questions, no awkwardness. If you’d like, we can then recommend someone who might be a better fit based on your preferences and personality.
Do I have to sign a long-term contract?
No, The Difference is a pay-as-you-go service. There are no contracts or commitments on your part – just pay month to month. If you cancel, you will be billed for the active month but you won’t be billed again.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal. At this time, we can only process payments online and do not accept health insurance or any third-party payers. However, we do provide invoices with your appointment history to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.
How do I cancel?
When you feel like you’ve gotten what you need, you may cancel at any time by clicking here <link to Account Settings Page>. In the interest of protecting your identity, all information related to your profile will be deleted permanently when you terminate your membership. If you think you might want to re-activate your account at some point, you can simply pause your plan, which allows you to recover your history in the future.
Is there a time limit for appointments?
Sessions are either 30- or 60-minutes in length depending on your plan.
Will my credits “rollover”?
No, your credits must be used within a month of purchasing them or they will expire. If you have a monthly subscription, your credits will renew when you are billed each month, and if you are paying as you go, you will need to purchase another session if your credit(s) expire.
Why was I charged again?
If you signed up for a subscription plan, you will be billed monthly when your membership renews. A week before your renewal date, you will receive a reminder email with the date your plan renews and instructions on how to pause or cancel your account. If you are having trouble using your credits within a month, or do not want to be billed monthly, you can choose to downgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go Plan, which means you only will be charged for each session you purchase and you will not be automatically billed on a monthly basis.