Sympaticus – Providing Psychotherapy for Women in MENA
Sympaticus is an upcoming online psychotherapy/wellbeing platform based in Lebanon and targeting women in the MENA region. Founded by Joe Zaarour, Ramzi Nohra and Dr. Nicole Braun-Elias, Sympaticus aims to help women overcome issues such as breakup, job loss, bereavement, burnout and depression. Currently in beta, the app offers subscription-based, 6-step, 14-week personalized programs that are developed and delivered by qualified psychologists, therapists and medical doctors.
Symapticus’ programs are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, which aim to help a person learn to recognize negative patterns of thought, evaluate their validity, and replace them with healthier ways of thinking. According to CBT practitioners/researchers, when patterns of thought and one’s behavior are changed, so is their mood. Using technology to track and monitor progress, the Sympaticus programs help users define their goals and teach coping techniques.
One of the many advantages of Sympaticus’ programs is that they serve as a more affordable and flexible alternative to traditional therapy. Although there is a monthly subscription fee, the fee is equal in cost to a single offline therapy session and offers users full access to an interactive learning program, a dedicated coach, and two monthly sessions with a therapist via Skype.
In addition to the programs, the app also includes features such as self-learning activities, symptoms diagnostics, feel-better guided activities, a goal tracker, and even a list of therapists and coaches users can communicate with via the platform.
Last year, Sympaticus was selected as a finalist at ArabNet Beirut’s Startup Demo and one of three semi-finalists in the Ideas Track at MIT Enterprise Forum. While similar platforms have emerged in MENA, such as Fadfid in Palestine and Shezlong in Egypt, Sympaticus’ unique and defining features include a virtual reality experience, facial detection, mood monitoring, as well as e-learning and gamification tools. Moreover, Symapticus is the first psychotherapy platform in MENA to target only women.
Although self-funded to date, Sympaticus is looking to raise a seed round, and is currently hiring therapists in both Dubai and Beirut.