Ones that, if I'm honest, I didn't particularly want. During talking therapy, a trained counsellor or therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you. At that moment, I immediately thought, online therapy is definitely not for me. Even through her written messages, Eryn seemed to be trying to understand chat with a therapist Thegapist was coming from, and it felt like she had a lot of empathy, which were two things I felt like I'd had a hard time finding in other therapists.
They'll usually be done face-to-face, but you might be able to have talking therapy over the phone, via or on Skype.
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To begin, I explained to each of them a particularly stressful event that had been weighing on my mind a lot, and how I was having a lot of trouble letting go of it. Talkspace allowed me to get those things out in the open proactively, chat with a therapist my own schedule, without having to spend lots of time and money trying to find someone I liked. Usually, you'll talk one-to-one with the therapist. So much of mental health treatment services focus on helping people who are really in trouble — and that is obviously so important — but most depressed people don't just become that way overnight.
You may also hear them referred to as counselling, talking treatments or psychological therapies. Running Its Course? So it didn't take long before I started to really enjoy having her to talk to, even if all I was really doing was sending her a bunch of text messages and waiting for her to write back.
Even though I like using Talkspace, I still see it as a temporary stop-gap: when my kids get a little older and it becomes easier for me to actually go see a therapist in person, I fully chat with a therapist on doing that. So when I heard about the option for online therapy — which would hypothetically solve all three of those problems — I decided to try online therapy wwith a month to see how it compared.
Another thing I really liked about chatting with Eryn is that, because I didn't have to write her back thegapist away, I had time to think about some of the things she was saying. They were both d tuerapist, and both seemed pretty welcoming and open, which I figured was a good. Can you get talking therapies on the NHS? Chat with a therapist Betterhelp and Talkspace are two separate websites, they functioned in a similar manner: I could log into a private chat room either on my laptop or via an app on my phone and leave my therapist a message, and they'd get back to me with a response to keep the conversation going.
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So often we wait to access help until things start to get really bad and the reality is that there really aren't that many options in the way of prevention. Video: psychological therapies for stress, anxiety and depression Animated video explaining self-referral to psychological therapies services for stress, anxiety or depression.
That's not to say though, that there aren't plenty of downsides: therapy is expensive, it can be time-consuming, and it can also be really hard to find a therapist who is a good match for you and finding the right therapist is super important.
There are a of service providers online these days that specialize in chat or text-based therapy, so I narrowed my decision down to two: Talkspace and Betterhelp. I figured an online therapist wasn't going to be nearly as helpful as a real, in-person therapist, but given that there are probably a lot of people out there who could use some support, but aren't necessarily in a position where they need to sit on a psychologist's couch every week, online therapy ttherapist like it could be a good in-between, accessible choice.
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Talking therapy for mental health problems Talking therapies can be helpful for lots of things, including:. I spent close to four years in almost-weekly therapy with my first, amazing therapist, and it was an incredibly important resource for me in what was a very tumultuous and difficult time in my life. Karen at Betterhelp was pretty quick at responding to my messages, which I appreciated, since I was eager to get started, so I unloaded the whole story onto her.
But the online arrangement actually worked really well with the position I'm in in my life right now— that is, super busy, but also interested in having someone to talk to — and I started to see how something like Chat with a therapist or Betterhelp really does provide a great option to people who can't or won't access traditional therapy, but who also aren't requiring in-depth mental health support.
Because finding time to meet in person would really difficult for me at this point, the truth is that, since I'm not in desperate need of chat with a therapist therapist right now, I probably wouldn't end up actually going to see her on a regular basis if I could, even though I really liked talking to her. Moving On Courtesy of Alana Romain I was feeling pretty optimistic about my newfound therapeutic alliance with Karen, but it wasn't long before I discovered one of the big drawbacks of text-based therapy.
I therapiwt myself the rest of the day to think about that, to really stop and pay attention to all the negative stuff I was saying to myself throughout the day, and by the time I messaged her later that evening, it actually felt like a pretty big breakthrough. It reminded me of all the things I'd word-vomited to my first therapist in her office over the years: I could just put it all out there and then leave it behind me when our session was over, free of the burden.
Talking therapy is for anyone who's going through a bad time or has emotional problems they need help with. Over the past year or so, I've had sessions with a handful of different psychologists, but none of them felt like good fit. When you aren't chatting in real time, it can be hard to keep the flow of the conversation going, and you miss out on a lot of the non-verbal communication you'd normally have with in-person. Right now, my membership with Talkspace is on hold.
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But when I read it, well, it kind of stung. Since I had already begun also chatting with Eryn, I made the decision to just cut ties with Thdrapist. I'd only intended to stay for the month, specifically for the purpose of conducting this experiment, but since I liked Eryn so much, I started to consider staying on indefinitely, and using Talkspace as part of my network of tools I rely on to try and keep me from ever ending up as miserably depressed as I once was chat with a therapist few years ago.
For many adults it may be the same or more effective than medication.
I felt kind of bad about that — I knew that a better therapits to do would have been to discuss it with her, or perhaps even request a different therapist something that both websites totally allow you to doand I probably would have if I hadn't simultaneously ed up for Talkspace. Some people might appreciate that kind of honest feedback, but I like my honesty couched in a heavy dose of gentle kindness cat empathy, and at that moment, I immediately thought, online therapy is definitely not for me.
So if you've been avoiding therapy because of any or all of those reasons, an online setup might be a great alternative.
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My goal was to see how the experience of online therapy compared to in-person therapy, and whether it was as good an option as it sounded like in theory. For example, I don't particularly find it helpful when a therapist likes to give a lot of advice — I just prefer having space to talk things out without judgment. Partly because talk therapy is thrapist recognized, hugely-effective tool for easing mental health chat with a therapist and anything that eases mental health suffering is gold as far as I'm concernedbut also because my first experience with psychotherapy was incredibly therxpist, and showed me first-hand just how valuable a good therapist really is.
Back to Mental health and wellbeing Benefits of talking therapy Talking therapies therapiet help all sorts of people in lots of different situations. I also realized what a huge advantage it was to be able to message her throughout the day, whenever I needed to. That, I realized, is the only difficulty of trying to access a kind of prophylactic therapy — trying to working with a therapist when you don't necessarily need to sometimes means that nothing is really wrong, and so sometimes, you don't want to actually theralist about anything.
Some people, of course, appreciate a more straight-forward, solutions-based approach, but for me, it just doesn't really work. You may have to wait a few weeks for it to start and may not have much choice in who you see.
I'm not ready to commit to another month, but chat with a therapist the same time, I want to make therapust I'm not just having a good week, and next week I'll wish I hadn't canceled although I guess if that were to happen I could just up again. But my one-week free trial of BetterHelp was coming to an end anyway, so in this instance, I figured I'd just go all in with Eryn and hope for the best.
The Experiment I wasn't particularly struggling or in crisis when I began this experiment, but I was feeling like I could probably benefit from having someone to talk to again. Although there are lots of different types of talking therapy, they all have a similar aim: to help you feel better.
I was matched within a day with two different therapists — one named Karen, and another named Eryn. At one point, she noted my tendency towards rumination, which was something I hadn't even realized was such a huge part of my anxiety.
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And really, who couldn't benefit from having a therapist to chat to? Having Eryn to talk to has been so nice, and I'm not quite sure I'd like to stop doing it, even if I am sure at this point that continuing to pay for the service would just be a nice bonus, as opposed to a very important investment in my own mental health. But of course, chatting to the best therapist in the entire world on the internet still isn't going to be as therapeutic as actually seeing someone in person — especially if you're going through a really difficult time.