What is The Difference?

The Difference is a confidential phone service that provides same-day appointments for Professional Pep Talks™ because we believe the right talk at the right time can make all The Difference!

What are Professional Pep Talks™? Is this therapy?

No, it’s better! And way easier: Our team is made up of mental health professionals who are trained in coaching and caring techniques. Our style is more about partnering with you to release stress and rethink your problems than therapy, which treats you like a patient. We call this approach the Mental Strength Skills Framework™ and our Mental Strength Trainers (MSTs) are on call to listen on days when you need a sounding board and extra support.

How does it work?

We don’t currently have a mobile app for iPhone or Android, but you don’t need one! Just create an account <insert log in link> to get our secure phone number, then whenever you need us, text the word PEPTALK to schedule an appointment, and we’ll call you directly on your phone at your chosen time.

To protect your privacy, your number is encrypted, so the Trainer will never have access to your personal contact information.

Who are the Trainers?

Our Mental Strength Trainers (MSTs) are all trained and educated in mental health and are passionate about providing coaching services to people who might otherwise not have access. They are highly trained in all the latest coaching techniques and we ensure they are maintaining The Difference’s high standards by regularly monitoring their reviews on the platform. You can help us keep our quality high by leaving reviews for your Trainer after each call.

Though all of our team members are licensed mental health professionals, it should be clear and understood upon sign up that our MSTs only provide coaching–*not clinical–services through this site. Clinical services such as writing prescriptions, diagnoses, treatment plans, and note-keeping are all expected as part of a treatment plan with a licensed therapist. But we don’t do any of that! We also don’t accept insurance as payment nor provide invoices for reimbursement. The insurance industry has actually caused a lot of the issues with mental health access today, and so our goal is to be completely independent from their frustrating and fragmented system.

You can trust that our MSTs are professional and best in class. All of our Trainers are educated according to our empathy and ethical standards, and we have been especially selective in our recruitment process so that no matter who you speak with, you’ll have a good experience.

How do I choose my Mental Strength Trainer?

In our years of experience, we’ve observed people get overwhelmed when it’s time to choose a therapist. So with us, you don’t choose a person, you choose what you want to talk about. Whenever you request a call, you’ll get a prompt to select your “pain point.” For example, work stress, loneliness, relationship troubles, etc. Then we’ll route your call to a Trainer who specializes in your area of concern. You can also choose Other and just talk about whatever you want. 

The process of choosing a Trainer 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. What we do instead is let you choose the issue(s) you need help with; for example, a relationship conflict, work stress, loss/grief, or even when you feel anxious. Then whenever you call in, you are assigned to a Trainer who can support you in your area of concern.

Will I talk to the same Trainer every time?

We have different Trainers staffed throughout the week, so you’re likely to speak to a new person every call. But if you like one of the Trainers you’re assigned to and would like to work with the same person consistently, you can upgrade to our Partner Plan and choose them to be your main MST. With this Plan, you’ll get exclusive access to your Trainer’s calendar and they hold time for you every month. To learn more about ways to work with us, check out our Plans & Pricing page here.

Once I’m on the Partner Plan, can I change my Trainer later?

Yup, it’s super easy too! We truly love the team that we’ve built, and we’re sure you will too. However, we understand that sometimes, it’s just not the right fit. In these cases, just write us and we can make referrals for another Trainer.

Can my Trainer prescribe me medication?

No, we do not provide prescriptions, diagnoses, or letters for Emotional Support Animals. Neither do we keep session notes or practice clinical mental health treatment. If you feel you need this kind of support, we encourage you to connect with a psychiatrist or licensed therapist. Psychology Today and the Mental Health Coalition are great resources to get started.

Is there a time limit for calls?

All calls are 30 minutes in length, and our team is trained to stick to this time limit to respect all callers in the queue. When you are on the Partner Plan, you can book sessions to be a full hour.

Are Trainers available to talk 24/7?

That’s our goal for next year, but for launch, our service hours will be from 9am-9pm EST.

Will my credits “roll over” if I don’t use them before the month is over?

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 on the Pay As You Go plan, you will need to purchase another session if your credit(s) expire.

Can I pause or freeze my subscription if I’m traveling or unable to use my credits one month?

Yes. You can pause or change your plan at any time in your account settings.

Is this site totally secure?

The Difference takes confidentiality very seriously and our platform, as well as our MSTs, are legally 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 the content of any calls nor do we keep call notes beyond the dte and time. When you close your account, all of 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. For more information, we encourage you to learn more about our Privacy Policy <link to PP page>.

Will my Trainer(s) see my full name, phone number, and other personal information?

Your Trainer will see your first name and last initial through the platform, but no other personal information. When our platform calls you, your phone number will be encrypted and the Trainer will not see your real phone number.

If calls come directly to my cell phone, how do you protect my contact information?

We use a third party service to encrypt your personal contact information so that none of our Trainers ever have direct access to your private data. Nor can you contact them directly.

Who do I contact if I have a question that isn’t answered here?

Reach out to us at help@thedifference.co or click on the chat bubble in The Difference platform and help will be on the way!