A long-time military spouse and therapist started a new company May 6 that aims to give military spouses and service members confidential, mobile support completely separated from the military system.
E-Therapy Café is designed to be what founder Dr. Jude Black, a licensed therapist and certified life coach, calls a “boutique team” of therapists who are available to clients on the go, regardless of life stage or location.
Black said her small team of therapists, which she hopes to grow to 30 in time, is perfect for military members because it is free from the restraints of location, and operates outside the military system. Unlike Military OneSource, which provides a limited number of sessions to active duty members before requiring them to go through a lengthy approval process to continue care, military users can sign themselves up. And while Military OneSource providers must report back to the military certain things like suicidal ideations, the therapists with E-Therapy Café can get users the help they need without ratting their problems out to the Defense Department.
But also unlike OneSource, the program comes with a cost. Black offers a variety of therapy packages, with the single 30 minute session starting at $50. New users pay $25 for that session. Military members also receive a 10 percent discount.
That’s a lot more expensive than Military OneSource, which is free. But Black says that to military members and others who are looking for ongoing, specialized care totally separate from a base, the cost is worth it.
“I never set out to replace Military OneSource. I’m actually a Military OneSource provider myself,” she said. “Military OneSource is great for a lot of things, but if you are active duty and being seen for anything, you are eventually going to get sent on base to a military treatment area. Yes, it’s free, but there are a lot of restrictions and boundaries with that.”
Black said she has one client who takes his therapist on business trips and vacations – no matter where he is, he is still able to check in and work through what is going on in his life. And her therapist team, all of whom are licensed, includes two military spouses.
You can check out E-Therapy Café here.