When admitting you are struggling with anxiety or depression is hard enough, asking for help can seem insurmountable. Pacifica’s self-help app was created to make cognitive behavioral therapy exercises accessible to more people. Now the startup is launching a Therapist Directory for users who want to take the next step. The service allows them to find a provider, attend consultations online using Pacifica’s platform and complete exercises as part of their treatment.
Founder and chief executive officer Dale Beermann says about 500 providers have already signed up for the Therapist Directory and expects that number to increase quickly after the launch as more profiles are claimed. The Therapist Directory is a bridge between Pacifica’s first two products, its app and Pacifica for Clinicians, a platform created for therapists who want to add online sessions to their existing practices.
Pacifica, which now claims 1.7 million users, was founded in 2014 by chief executive officer Dale Beermann and designer Chris Goettel, who were inspired by their own experiences. As a teenager, Goettel used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to cope with social anxiety, while Beermann learned mindfulness techniques while dealing with insomnia. The two felt those approaches would adapt well to a mobile app. Both also had family and friends who were affected by depression, but while preparing to launch Pacifica they were still surprised to discover how prevalent mental health issues are and how difficult it is to find care.
Beermann and Goettel first focused on a self-help app because many people said they were intimidated by therapy, but wanted tools they could realistically fit into their daily routines. Based on CBT and mindfulness meditation, Pacifica app’s features are designed to combat stress, anxiety and depression. They include audio lessons, a health and mood tracker, relaxation exercises and journaling tools that help users set goals, challenge negative…