Inkblot counselling services offers an alternative for more accessible mental health care
Mental health and what mental health therapy means can look very different to everyone, which is why Dr. Arash Zahoor created Inkblot, an online counselling service which caters to these individual needs.
As a general practitioner in Hamilton, he started to see patterns emerging in his services. Being a member of the College of Physicians allowed him to practice psychotherapy, although this was not his initial intention. After finding himself continually offering counselling services to his patients, he realized that in fact many did not have any alternative options for psychotherapy.
“Initially it started more practically. I had patients that would travel hours to come see me and so I started looking for a way to make it easier for them,” said Zahoor.
In his search for more accessible psychotherapy for his patients, he developed his own solution, a psychotherapy service called Inkblot. Inkblot is an online video counselling service that caters to individual counselling needs.
Again, every person will have different needs when it comes to their mental health, and Zahoor tries to address each individual need with Inkblot. Someone who is trying Inkblot for the first time will be able to input what their main preferences are in a counsellor. From there they will be given several options to choose from out of the 50 registered psychotherapists the service has available.
“Essentially, students can shop around online for free until they find the right therapist,” Julie Sabine said, who is an Inkblot psychotherapist.
There are a variety of things that students may feel are most important to find in their therapist, and Zahoor has taken each of these into account.
“Specific issues only certain therapists have expertise at, such as certain gender identity issues, other forms of identities, cultural issues, and relationship issues,” said Zahoor. “There are areas where someone would be required to have the cultural literacy of that language or understanding of that domain to be able to really make a big difference,” he stated.
Inkblot psychotherapists come from various parts of the world, including North America, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia to name a few. They speak various languages and have expertise in different domains relating to cultural as well as religious perspectives, allowing for another level of accessibility.
Having access to people who can provide the best care for you, even if they don’t live next door to you is something Inkblot attempts to do for their clients.
“With psychotherapy, it is all about the relationship between the client and the therapist, it is so important,” said Sabine.
Being able to have continuous interactions with your therapist is something that is essential if you really want to work through something. “You need more than three sessions to do this, you could need 10, that’s where Inkblot comes in,” adds Sabine.
Students can get their first session free, and pricing for sessions after are currently $75, although Zahoor ensures that prices are negotiable dependent on the individual services. Users can do their Inkblot sessions from their computer as well as their android device, with Apple products being added this summer.