Self-care isn't always just exercised by slapping on a sheet mask or soaking in a sea salt-spiked tub (not that there's anything wrong with that version). For many, the internal work done with regular therapy sessions is also a key component of their overall wellness.
Still, the idea of traditional talk therapy remains elusive — even stigmatized — to some who have yet to set foot into a therapist's office, as well as those who have tried it and felt overwhelmed or intimidated by the process. But that's exactly what the upcoming Okay Humans, which officially opens in Brentwood this summer, is hoping to change by making the experience from start to finish feel as mood-boosting as accessible as getting a blowout or a massage.
Okay Human's founder and CEO Christy Desai worked with some of the best in those aforementioned businesses to accomplish her goal. The licensed therapist worked with Drybar co-founders Alli Webb and Michael Landau, as well as Squeeze co-founder and CEO Brittany Driscoll, who serve as board members and advisors for the mental health business venture. The partnership puts Okay Humans under their larger The Feel-Good Company umbrella, a group of companies that share a team of brand-building experts as well as a common goal of giving their clients a simplified and over-all enjoyable experience.
"Christy reached out to me on Instagram wanting to learn more about the feel-good approach we took to building Squeeze," Driscoll says. "We met for coffee and when she shared her idea for Okay Humans, I knew immediately she was on to something and would fill a huge gap in the market. More importantly, her vision aligns with our values of making people feel good. As firm believers in the transformative benefits of talk therapy, we are thrilled to support Christy in bringing Okay Humans to life."
So what makes it different than traditional therapy? For one, it's tech-savvy. With a few clicks on a unique app, users can select therapists, book appointment, log thoughts, receive messages, and even pay for their sessions. And speaking of payment, one of Okay Human's key goals is to make talk therapy more affordable, and it does this a few ways: users are encouraged to make it a consistent practice with a "Become a Regular" option that saves 30% on weekly sessions. Additionally, Okay Humans submits insurance claims for those with PPO out-of-network benefits, which amounts to between 45-80% savings per session.
And then there's the space itself. Located in the heart of Brentwood, this storefront will offer visitors a different atmosphere than your typical office or clinic. Stopping in for your session, you'll be greeted with a "wellness shop" stocked with journals, skincare, and other self-care items to round out the overall feel-good experience. The goal is creating a mental health care hub that feels familiar and welcoming.
Still curious about what Okay Humans can offer you (starting this summer)? UncoverLA chatted with Desai to learn everything you should know before booking.
What do you think makes some people resistant to "traditional" ways of seeking therapy — and how does Okay Humans aim to change that?
It starts with the stigma. There's been a stigma that going to therapy means there's something wrong with you, which is simply not true. Part of our mission at Okay Humans is to destigmatize seeking help by making it as accessible and normal as anything else in your wellness routine like booking a massage or a blowout.
Once people get over the stigma, there are a multitude of other barriers that make the process defeating. It's hard to find a trusted therapist that's right for you, therapy offices are typically hidden away or off the beaten path and then there's the paperwork, booking by phone, paying by check, old dusty sofas, 70's art and an all-around antiquated experience. Okay Humans is changing all of that.
We've partnered with The Feel-Good Company to disrupt the mental health industry with a revolutionary app that allows you to search therapist bios, book, pay and even log your thoughts between sessions; a beautiful space in the heart of Los Angeles designed by the same award-winning architect who built Drybar and Squeeze; a monthly membership option to make weekly therapy sessions more affordable; and a feel-good culture that spreads from our team to our guests.
What can someone expect when first visiting the Okay Humans space? Including those who have not attended in-person therapy or those who have only done traditional clinic-type visits?
Before you even visit Okay Humans, we've simplified the process for you. Finding your therapist, booking your session and filling out "paperwork" is all done at your fingertips through our revolutionary app or on okayhumans.com. To take even more of the headache out of the experience, we submit insurance claims on guests behalf so they can save on their sessions without the hassle.
When you arrive at the shop, you'll notice we've designed a space that makes you start to feel okay the minute you walk through the door: beautiful architecture, a wellness shop, mentali-tea bar, and soundproof therapy suites to ensure a feel-good experience from start to finish.
The magic that happens between you and your therapist inside the therapy suite hasn't changed. Our licensed therapists at Okay Humans will provide a framework and a safe space for the session, but there is no right or wrong way for the session to go — the important part is showing up. We make it easier for people to do that.
What are some long term goals for Okay Humans?
Our long-term goal is to continue modernizing and destigmatizing therapy so more and more people can reap the benefits. We plan to expand across the country to reach even more people and make going to therapy feel okay in every way.
Okay Humans, 11710 San Vicente Blvd., L.A., 90049; opening summer 2021