Startup Stories: Nicci Wright From Online Therapy Platform, The Circle Line

The Circle Line was founded by Pip Richardson after her own experiences with mental health, which also led her to training as a psychotherapist. A group of us quickly flocked to be involved. We all have our own stories and were each drawn to being part of The Circle Line through our shared passion and interest in mental wellbeing and psychology.

2020 has been our first operational year, and like with most start-ups, it’s been a challenge. But we’re going from strength to strength; testing and pivoting, supporting people’s personal growth and appreciating the positive feedback we’re receiving. Everyday is insightful and educational due to the nature of the business and this and our team spirit really drives us all and carries us through the challenges.

What does The Circle Line do?

We’re an online therapy and self-development platform, helping people thrive through psychology. Anyone can sign up and use our service for any area they’re looking to work on – from relationships to career goals to anxiety, and everything in between.

Our platform matches you with a choice of therapists to best suit you, considering your personal preferences such as gender, method or style you wish to try and your preferred timing. All bookings and sessions take place securely within our platform – privacy is vital.

“As a founding member of the team, I find it both challenging and rewarding working in this space. Understanding your mental health is still perceived by some as an issue to fix, rather than choosing a life of continuous self-development – which is our view.”

We also work with progressive companies that believe in supporting the mental wellbeing of their employees through access to therapy, workshops, and training.


How are they different from other businesses?

The online therapy or teletherapy market in the US is booming, if not already saturated. They have a few big players, but the UK is nowhere near as progressive or advanced yet. We want to lead that charge on this side of the pond.

Our business is tailored to support both individual consumers and businesses’ and their staff. It’s widely reported in research by Deloitte that every £1 invested in your employees, provides a £5 return on investment. With that in mind, we’re not solely about the technology but the application of psychology that underpins the framework of how we work collaboratively with businesses to embed self-development at the core of a company’s culture.

We’re boot-strapping, working hard to do it alone, without investment from venture capitalists with questionable ethics…which I think makes us pretty unusual. Making therapy affordable and accessible is a key priority, at £49 per session and £25 for an intro, and we want to safeguard that. We believe in the “Teal” organisational ethos and operate with a flat hierarchy, and we’ve grown solely through word-of-mouth and our professional networks. It’s working for us so far!


What does the future hold for The Circle Line?

It’s an interesting time – Coronavirus has thrown many curveballs at us this year so knowing what the future will hold is tricky. The crisis has created an increased, if different, demand for our services, so we’re still growing and adapting with our audience.

We plan to continue to work with progressive companies that care about employee wellbeing. Some of the exciting culture and people development initiatives we were rolling out with clients have halted, with many spending less and playing safe. It’s a hard time for everyone but I still firmly believe that supporting employee mental health should be on the agenda at every company. This kind of essential support only increases employee performance and loyalty.

In some ways, we’re lucky in that we have gained new corporate clients, and have increased visibility on the consumer side.

“There’s also been an increase in noise generally about mental health, it’s not so hushed as it used to be… which is a key part of the battle.”

We learn, we grow, we continue to add innovative new features to our platform, great content to our library and will never stop changing our business as we need to. It’s an exciting time to be working in the psychology and wellbeing field – I think we’re at the start of a new era in our understanding and are finally embracing the therapeutic solutions more widely and more whole-heartedly. I hope so, for it’s only by changing ourselves that anything else in the world changes.

For more information visit: