How to Maintain Your Motivation While Depressed

depressed man sitting in bed

Most of us take action because we believe it will bring about a concrete benefit or result in future happiness. These prospects are what motivate us. Clinical depression, however, can change your brain in a way that makes it difficult to experience a sense of pleasure or reward. When depression makes you unbearably sad, numb, or exhausted, you might not feel like there is a reason to do anything. If nothing has satisfied you lately, you might think, “What’s the point?”

Fortunately there are mental techniques and strategies you can employ to gradually regain the motivation needed to live a full life. You can try them on your own or by working with a therapist. The latter, however, will most likely yield better, faster results.

Below are some strategies recommended by therapists who have worked with clients to restore their motivation during severe depression. Most of these solutions focus on incremental steps, so change is more manageable and easier to commit to. Continue reading How to Maintain Your Motivation While Depressed

Talkspace Customer Support: When Mental Health Is On the Line

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In most companies, customer support is relatively simple and the stakes are low. The goal is to resolve issues that may arise with a product or service. Customer support representatives receive “tickets” that contain technical issues or complaints from customers. The reps respond and solve the problem. When necessary, they forward the ticket to another employee or “escalate” the issue by involving supervisors.

Even when there is a persistent technical problem or an upset customer, not much is truly on the line. Customers may be irritated if they need to wait a few extra days on a shipment or refund, but they’re OK.

Now imagine if a ticket could contain anything from anxiety to depression. The Talkspace customer support team works with these sensitive issues every day. Continue reading Talkspace Customer Support: When Mental Health Is On the Line

When You’re Not Sure What To Say to Your Online Therapist

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Therapy can be super awkward. And necessarily so if you’re discussing difficult material. Even if you are talkative and gregarious, you might not know what to say during certain parts of your therapeutic journey. This can be even more of a challenge during online texting therapy because you don’t get your therapist’s visual cues that might prompt you to say something more on a topic.

To help you continue therapy without hesitation when you’re feeling stuck, shy, or just don’t know what to discuss, we created this guide for communicating with therapists online. Use it as a reference whenever you draw a blank or aren’t sure what to say.

Starting the Conversation With Your Therapist

Your therapist will most likely ask several questions to get the ball rolling. Nonetheless, there will be times during the beginning of therapy when you might need to start the conversation. If you can’t think of anything, try one or more of the following: Continue reading When You’re Not Sure What To Say to Your Online Therapist

Porn Addiction Therapy: What You Need to Know

man in bed at night smartphone

Seeking treatment for addiction to pornography is one of those uncomfortable topics people tend to avoid discussing. The issue is too big to ignore, though. More than 200,000 Americans are addicted to porn. The American Society of Addiction recognizes porn addiction as a legitimate health issue. Every day, mental health professionals use porn addiction therapy to help people relinquish their dependency and develop a healthy sexual mindset.

Porn addiction therapy often focuses on issues around shame, denial, loneliness, fear of intimacy, and sometimes social anxiety. It can shine a light on issues that “exist in the shadows,” said therapist L. Gordon Brewer, who has experience treating clients for sex and porn addiction. Brewer added that providing unconditional positive regard is especially important when helping people with addiction.

Therapists who treat clients for porn addiction commonly use cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] to address the issues behind the addiction. This form of psychotherapy attempts to change the client’s beliefs by showing them how their thoughts are irrational or detrimental. They also help clients understand how their excessive consumption of pornography is preventing them from living a full life and having a healthy mindset about sex, relationships, and intimacy. Continue reading Porn Addiction Therapy: What You Need to Know

Therapist Tips for How to Feel Better When Life Gets Tough

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When life is challenging, we reflexively ask ourselves, “How can I feel better — fast?” At Talkspace many people connect with one of our therapists when they are going through a crisis and need someone to throw them a line. To offer some collective therapeutic wisdom, we asked therapists which pieces of advice they tend to give to clients who are going through a rough time.

Sometimes suffering gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, other people, and the world. That knowledge will ultimately help you make better choices and perhaps avoid situations that cause stress or heartbreak.

“When you know better, you do better,” said Talkspace therapist Chandricka Mose. “Look at the experience and take away the lesson you were meant to learn.” Continue reading Therapist Tips for How to Feel Better When Life Gets Tough

The History of Online Therapy

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Online therapy has many definitions. Depending on which one you use, its history has a different beginning.

Most of the people who have catalogued the history of online therapy use broader definitions. Some historians believe it began during the 1972 International Conference on Computers when Stanford and UCLA staff used linked computers to demonstrate a psychotherapy session. This wasn’t a real psychotherapy session with a licensed therapist and — unlike the modern internet — was limited to that small network of computers. It did, however, at least demonstrate the idea of online therapy.

If you include therapy via the phone as part of online therapy, the history starts even earlier. Records of the first private call between a psychotherapist and client are lost in confidentiality. Nonetheless, it is clear people were using the phone to provide mental health support as early as the 1960s. Continue reading The History of Online Therapy

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About How Therapy Actually Works

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The first time I pulled my car up to a therapist’s office, I had no idea what the experience would be like. The only images I had were from “Good Will Hunting” and “Equus,” both great movies but ones that don’t accurately portray therapy. I was skeptical, worried it would be a waste of time and money.

After years of chatting with therapists, other therapy-goers and people who were on the fence, I learned many people who consider therapy feel similarly before they commit. Therapy is a different for everyone, but there are common myths and misconceptions that aren’t true, ones that prevent people from receiving the benefits I have.

To break this stigma barrier, I reached out to therapists and drew upon my own experience. Keep reading to learn the truth about therapy.

Continue reading What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About How Therapy Actually Works

Transgender Mental Health Issues: The Challenges of a Binary World

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Adam was assigned a female gender at birth, but from an early age he did not feel comfortable identifying as female. Like many transgender people who struggle with mental health issues, the pressure of society’s gender norms caused stress and confusion.

Coming out as transgender is a challenge for anyone, but it was especially difficult for Adam. He grew up in a small, close knit town with one high school. His uncle was also his landlord, an example of how his environment could be suffocating at times.

At the age of 15, Adam came out as transgender and began identifying as a man. With the exception of his father, no one in his family or community supported him. Peers mercilessly bullied and ridiculed him until he dropped out of high school. Then the final blow hit: Because of his decision, his uncle, the landlord, refused to provide him a residence. Continue reading Transgender Mental Health Issues: The Challenges of a Binary World

The Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Talked To My Therapist

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At Talkspace we have spent plenty of time talking about how you can sign up and text a therapist from anywhere. But what exactly does that look like?

To paint a more vivid picture of how people are using Talkspace, we reached out to our clients and asked them to send us details on interesting and unusual places where they have texted their therapist. They showed us that “anywhere” really can mean anywhere.

Here are some of the places and situations they shared:

At Work

via GIPHY

It can be difficult to leave work to meet a therapist in an office. Most traditional therapists only work during business hours. Many employees do not work in environments that promote openness regarding mental health and therapy, so they are afraid to ask for time off to commute to a therapist’s office.

Texting a therapist during breaks at work allows employees to avoid these issues. It can be especially useful if they are texting about something work-related, perhaps an important issue they might forget about if they had to wait until after work. Continue reading The Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Talked To My Therapist

How to Ask Your Therapist For Changes

woman on couch with therapist

When Michelle started therapy with Talkspace, she was happy with how it was going. Her therapist, Rachel, generally reiterated what Michelle said and then asked some questions to dig into the issues.

At first this style suited Michelle, and she was making progress. After a few weeks, however, Michelle felt the therapy had become stale.

“I was feeling frustrated by all the questions and really wanted something more actionable from her,” she wrote in her review of Talkspace.

Then Michelle remembered what Rachel told her at the beginning of their work: “Tell me how you feel things are going so this can be beneficial to you.” Following Rachel’s instructions, Michelle communicated her concerns. Rachel responded by offering actionable mental health strategies. Continue reading How to Ask Your Therapist For Changes