In the middle of the night when you are overwhelmed with grief, reeling from a job loss or just in need of someone who knows what you are going through, where do you turn. Technology company Circles is on a mission to solve that problem. Today, the company announced that Circles On-Demand , the first of its kind on-demand audio support group app, is now available to the general public. Circles fills a void in the e-therapy market by focusing on the therapeutic value of sharing and listening to others with the same pain, issue, or challenge.
Circles has modernized the support group by empowering users to find emotional support from people who are dealing with the same issues, in real time. The wide ranging topics of groups includes: single dads rebuilding their lives after divorce, adults coping with disability, women navigating infertility and people grieving the loss of loved ones. Circles taps into the power of finding and giving support to those who are going through the same issues.
“People still need people, and that is especially true when you are faced with life's challenges,” says Irad Eichler, Co-Founder and CEO of Circles. We have learned from our community that although people often have a support system, they still feel alone. It has been our mission to provide a safe place where people feel seen and heard, whether they are going through divorce, experiencing illness, struggling with body image or navigating a layoff. We understand the power of connecting with people who understand exactly what you are going through and with this new offering we are proud to provide easy real-time access to emotional support for anyone who needs it.”
Since the company launched in 2020, they have been a source of support for 50,000 people. Circles On-Demand opened to limited users in 2022 and already has 200 and growing support groups. During the beta, divorce and cancer accounted for 35% of all rooms, but in the past two months, demand for groups dealing with narcissistic relationships grew by 100%.
Each Circles group is led by a facilitator. Since the beta launch of Circles On-Demand, more than 200 groups have already formed validating the need that people need help and feel better connecting with others that face the same challenges.
Circles On-Demand is free of charge and anyone can start or join a group. The app allows people to be anonymous and only requires a first name to sign-up. The company provides training materials to help facilitators be successful, and is currently working on an AI integration that will provide help to guides in real time.
Circles On-Demand has helped people to find community and connection when they most need it. During the holidays, groups hosted happy hours to help people feel less lonely. There was even a comedy hour for grief support, providing users with an outlet to laugh through a difficult time.
Julie Edstrom has used Circles to support her through grief, and says, “I lost both of my parents 16 days apart in 2021 to COVID. I am a retired Grief and Trauma Therapist so I have high expectations for grief groups. Circles exceeds my expectations.” Circles user, Mark, is healing from a narcissistic relationship and offers, “The group is comfortable and open. Being able to express what's happening and feeling others' stories. There's no judgment nor criticism. People can talk freely and share their pain, their growth and seek that light at the end of the tunnel.”
Circles was founded in 2020 in Israel with a mission to make support accessible and affordable to everyone. The global company launched in the United States in 2021 and differentiated itself from the e-therapy market by focusing on the therapeutic value of sharing and listening to others with the same pain, issue, or challenge. The company closed a Series A round of $16.5 million in May 2022.
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