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Silicon Valley Goes to Therapy



실리콘 밸리의 여러 회사들은 소위 ‘꿈의 직장’이라고 불린다. 기업들은 직원들에게 다양한 식사와 교통편은 물론이고 자녀들의 교육에도 지원을 아끼지 않는다. 직장인이라면 누구나 부러워할 복지제도들이 준비되어 있다. 최첨단의 사무공간과 쾌적한 환경은 두말하면 잔소리이다. 하지만 이런 회사들에 다니는 직원들의 충성도는 그다지 높지 않은 것 같다. 한 자료에 따르면 2017년 한 해 동안 실리콘 밸리의 직원 이직률이 다른 주요 산업과 비교해 상당히 높은 것으로 나타났다. 최고의 기술 회사들도 직원들의 장기근속을 보장하기는 어려운 것일까? 전문가들은 근속이 어려운 이유로 성과주의, 실적 압박, 노동의 강도 등이 영향을 미친 것으로 보고 있다.

Silicon Valley, a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States, is arguably the number one global center for innovative technology and social media. This area is home to a number of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, with more than 30 headquarters of businesses listed in the Fortune 1000, the 1,000 largest American companies ranked by revenue. Many view Silicon Valley as a place that is saving the world by giving the modern tech worker a purpose for their work, optimism for their future, and self-confidence for their skills and potential.

However, many bad headlines were followed by even worse headlines. This was not just on the industry, but also about the country, and even the world. With these headlines hanging over their heads, anxiety has become a major issue and now, tech workers dealing with anxiety issues are admitting they have a real problem that needs to be handled with therapy.

Silicon Valley is attempting to bring reassurance and regain any lost optimism by using on-demand therapy. With more tech workers in Silicon Valley seeking therapeutic help, they are simultaneously founding more start-up companies related to therapy. However, what differs therapy in Silicon Valley to therapy that we may be used to hearing about or dealing with ourselves is that Silicon Valley is adding their own technological twist to it.

The familiar elements of therapeutic care, such as speaking with a person appropriately licensed and qualified in a room full of various succulents, still exists. However, therapy in Silicon Valley is also attempting to emphasize a data-driven approach. In short, it is more high tech. One example of this is the way clients and therapists are matched together. Clients seeking therapy are matched with therapists using tools and algorithms similar to those of an online dating application, rather than having to find a therapist on their own or having to be referred to one. Another example involves the notes therapists take during a session with a client. The notes are quickly turned into data, which is broken down with quizzes and other evaluation progresses that show exactly how a client’s levels of happiness and anxiety are changing and at what rate.

Kip, one of the start-up companies taking therapy to the next level with technology, believe their world-class providers, or therapists, have been supercharged with software tools, and that this will only supercharge the clients, as well. Two Chairs, another start-up, has already opened six different clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area, and claim they are building an entirely new mental health system.