Frame simplifies finding a therapist and creates one-stop-shop for private practices – TechCrunch

Therapy is quickly becoming a standard part of many people’s lives, but 2020 has broken that trend by phasing out in-person sessions and forcing therapists to migrate their entire practice online – and it turns out it isn’t. so easy. Frame simplifies it with an all-in-one portal for clients and therapists, unifying the lists, management tools and software that run the countless small businesses that make up the industry.

Kendall Bird and Sage Grazer are old friends who were in the right place at the right time – a weird thing to say about anyone anywhere in early 2020, but it’s true. The startup’s pitch of bringing your practice entirely online and offering sessions entirely online, accounting, planning and everything turned out to be exactly what would soon be needed – although, as they say, it does. is in fact necessary for some time.

Grazer, a therapist herself, experienced first-hand the unexpected difficulties of getting started.

“When I started my practice in 2016, I was really passionate about clinical work, but I was very overwhelmed with building a business, marketing, financial stuff,” she said. “So we wanted to help other therapists through this.”

She and Bird reconnected around this time and both saw an opportunity to make things better.

Kendall Bird (left) and Sage Grazer. Image credits: Frame

“We think therapists are a one-on-one thing, but they’re really a small business,” said Bird, who previously worked in marketing at Snapchat, Google and YouTube. “They are underserved and poorly supported as mental health professionals – they don’t have the administrative support that doctors have, and they aren’t trained to run businesses. It made sense to create a scalable SaaS solution that allowed these people to work for themselves.

The therapy industry, like other medical institutions, has two faces: facing the client and facing the practitioner. While there are a handful of online services that combine them, many essentially hire therapists as entrepreneurs. If you want to run your own practice, you will likely use a combination of specialized planning, telehealth, billing, and other tools designed with medical privacy considerations in mind.

“The landscape of therapy tools and services is incredibly fragmented – the average therapist uses 5-7 tools, and most of them aren’t designed for therapy,” Bird said.

And then, of course, there’s Psychology Today: a periodical that straddles the roles of pop psych and industry rag, but whose main reason for many exists is its massive roster of therapists, which dominate research. and are a damning first stop for anyone looking to find one. in their field. But for such a personal and consequential decision, these brief lists don’t give suspicious potential customers the impression that they are making an informed choice.

“We wanted a more accessible experience, using language that didn’t sound overwhelming or pathological,” Grazer said. “There are people who go to therapy who feel lonely and confused, who don’t identify with a disorder or who don’t tick a box.”

The therapist's inbox displaying conversations with clients and potential clients.

Image credits: Frame

Frame avoids the over-simplified “browse therapists near your area code” with a short quiz – not a diagnosis or personality test but just a few basic questions – that confines your choices to a handful of local and appropriate therapists, with whom you can instantly set up free introductory video calls. If you find someone you love, the rest of the professional relationship takes place on Frame, although, of course, in-person sessions may resume soon.

For those who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, the company hosts live sessions between volunteers and therapists to show what a full hour of work can look like. (Whatever courage it takes to confront your problems in therapy, it surely takes even more to do so with an audience.)

On the therapist side, Frame is supposed to be a one stop shop. Marketing and telehealth sessions are available as noted above, but so are scheduling, notes, invoicing, notifications, etc., all tailored specifically to the needs of the industry. And while the shift to online services has been a long time coming, the business has arrived just when the need has grown in excess.

A therapist's online dashboard showing billing, schedules, and appointment links.

Image credits: Frame

“We built it before COVID existed – launched in March 2020 and had telehealth as an option, thinking ‘oh, well, maybe some people will. The majority of therapists in America weren’t doing online sessions back then … but after COVID, they all are, ”said Bird. “And they’re looking for these tools now because they see the benefits of running so much of their business through telehealth. “

Many therapists find that after resisting the transition for years, they experience all kinds of benefits, Grazer explained. Like other industries, the flexibility inherent in moving from face-to-face to virtual meetings has been liberating and, in some cases, profitable. The change is here to stay.

The site is currently in a closed beta limited to part of California, as therapists are limited to operating in the state and there are other regulations to consider, not to mention all the usual struggles to put in place. sprawling professional service. But the $ 3 million fundraising round, led by Maven Ventures, will help complete the product and scale the business to a wider audience. Sugar Capital, Struck Capital, Alpha Edison and January Ventures participated in the increase.

The money goes “almost exclusively to engineering”. The goal is to open the beta, expand it to the rest of California, and then move to other states once they have the infrastructure to do so and respond to feedback from the initial deployment.

“Sage and I really believe that the best way to make therapy more accessible in the United States is to support therapists,” said Bird.

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