Published April 21, 2016.
Feeling the blues, or feeling as though you have no one to talk to? There’s a community out there waiting to help.
7Cups.com is a website created by psychologist Glen Moriarty in 2013. He created it because one night he was having a conversation with his wife about something that was bothering him. She was a great listener, and it made Glen realize how lucky he was to have someone as special as her in his life.
He figured that he could create a community centered on being a vehicle towards global compassion. 7Cups features several different features, but at its very core, it’s centered on the relationships between listeners and members.
The ‘listeners’ are trained active listeners; anyone can sign up to be a listener, and they come from several different countries from all walks of life. They are volunteers, and they sit down and devote their time to members who may need their help.
Members are those who come to the site to speak with someone, someone who will understand their struggle and make them feel less alone. For many people, the stigma of seeing a psychologist is too intimidating for them; 7Cups provides a confidential, anonymous and no-obligation space for members to be who they are without fear of judgment.
The service is free for members and listeners, though there is an option to be a contributor, which unlocks more options and guides towards wellness. 7Cups is also an app, and can be downloaded in the Apple Store and Google Play.
For college students, this is a good way to speak with someone about anything that may be on one’s mind; grades, school, relationships, sex or anything else; there are listeners who are well-equipped to speak about many situations.
Conversations are primarily done through a real-time, one-on-one chatroom, much like Facebook’s Messenger. There are also other ways for listeners and members to connect; for example, there are public forums and chatrooms (where regular discussions are held), the feed function (kind of like Facebook’s timeline).
One of their most recent updates involves the inclusion of a Therapist Directory. Therapists can register on the directory, and members can search for a therapist in their area. Therapy costs money, depending on the therapist; talking with a trained active listener does not cost anything, though.
“Asking for help is never easy and it can be especially hard when entering adulthood and trying to become independent,” said Christian Crumlish, Head of Product at 7Cups. “And you can’t always count on having someone available in your life that you feel comfortable being vulnerable with.”
Crumlish continued, “Traditional therapy can be expensive, intimidating, and all-too-visible to others. 7 Cups taps into the normal human desire to help others and connect as a way to provide a ready pool of kind listeners. Totally anonymous, it’s a bit like having a friend in your pocket you can tell your deepest fears to any time of the day or night.”
Talking with a listener is not recommended instead of therapy, but instead as a supplement. Millersville offers free counseling to all students, through an appointment is needed. Reach out to the Counseling center by calling 717-871-7821.