“Throughout high school, my focus was on getting accepted to a prestigious university. But once I got in, I felt totally lost about my next steps and what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to make the world a better place, but I didn’t know what that looked like. After a two-year program at McKinsey & Company, I knew I wanted to do something operational. But I was back to square one, asking “What do I want to do with my life?”
I decided to dig deep and see if a therapist or life coach might be able to help me figure things out. I looked at coach and therapist directories online and they left me at a total loss. Every therapist’s profile sounded the same. None spoke to my existential concerns or convinced me of the therapist’s ability to help, and it was impossible to tell what the therapist might be like in person. When I did try reaching out, I was led to a dozen impersonal voice mailboxes and contact forms with no guarantee of a response. A week later, only half the therapists had communicated with me to say they weren’t accepting new clients, or that their fee of “$50 – $300” was actually $300.
I was shocked, and reached out to friends to ask if they’d had similar experiences. They told me stories of going to therapy for a year without a sense of whether they were getting better or not, going for a first in-person appointment only to realize it wasn’t a good fit five minutes in, and getting names from their insurance company of therapists who weren’t taking their type of insurance anymore. When I spoke with students, they told me they would get names from counseling centers of therapists who had retired, or feel so much anxiety about making a phone call that they would delay reaching out for weeks.
That experience got me thinking… and working. Today, I run Zencare.co, a website that helps millennials find their ideal talk therapist in less than five minutes flat. All Zencare therapists go through an interview process to ensure users get an outstanding quality of care. Users can browse therapist self-introductory videos, check up-to-date availability, and book a free initial phone consult on the website. We’ve been able to help thousands of individuals to access the care they need, and we continue to expand and improve our therapist network every single day.
As for my own journey, I eventually found a wonderful therapist and certified life coach, and have gained so much from the experience. Working with her has helped me address more than just the question of finding my passion. My relationship with my family drastically improved after my first session with her, I’m a much more centered person thanks to her cognitive restructuring techniques, and she has been an incredible source of support in this (often rocky) adventure of building a startup.
I’ve come to realize that my goal in life will always be to make the world a better place, but the way I do that will constantly change. For now, though, it’s through Zencare—and I’m absolutely loving it.”
Yuri Tomikawa, CEO & Founder
(Rhode Island, USA)