4 Reasons to Try Therapy at Least Once

male therapist woman client couch

Going to therapy isn’t a subject many people can talk about comfortably, work must be done to keep trying to normalize mental health care. Managing crises or mental illnesses is only one part of psychotherapy. It’s about admitting that sometimes we need help to become the best version of ourselves and live a happier life.

If you haven’t tried working with a therapist yet, you might find that it could benefit you. Here are four reasons why you should give therapy a shot at least once.

1. Unbiased Advice

If you already talk with friends or family about problems in your life and get advice from them, that’s great! It’s healthy to have a group of loved ones to vent to, but they might not be giving the best advice. To ensure you can trust what someone’s telling you about a situation, speak with a therapist who’s emotionally removed from the situation. They’ll help you see the bigger picture and decide how to move forward strategically from there. Continue reading 4 Reasons to Try Therapy at Least Once

The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy

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The majority of clients at Talkspace are trying therapy for the first time. With only online therapy as a frame of reference, they can’t draw comparisons to in-person treatment. This fact demonstrates, however, that online therapy removes barriers — high cost and inconvenience — that typically deter people from seeking professional mental health support.

Nonetheless, many users have extensive experience inside a therapist’s office. Some commuted to weekly therapy sessions for years before switching to online therapy. Others have continued their in-person treatment and used Talkspace as a complimentary service.

To illustrate what it is like to navigate the differences between in-person and online therapy, we surveyed our clients who had been open about their experiences with both. Here is what they taught us: Continue reading The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy

How Therapy Helps You Recover from Childhood Trauma and Abuse

woman client therapist talking

If you experienced trauma or abuse during childhood, you might wonder if you should seek therapy. But maybe you are too busy to commute to appointments. You don’t even have any time to feel everything, much less talk about it.

Then there are the plethora of worries people sometimes have when they consider working with a therapist. You might think, “What if I end up feeling worse? What if the therapist thinks I don’t have any problems? Am I exaggerating my experiences?”

Then you start wondering why everyone else seems so happy, while your head swims with worries and you slog through each day. You are not alone, and there are ways to feel better. Continue reading How Therapy Helps You Recover from Childhood Trauma and Abuse

Why College Students Should Fight the Stigma of Therapy

female college student on couch with therapist

Fall is fast approaching. The air is getting crisper, and the back to school ads are out in full force. College students are stepping onto campuses all over the country, some for the first time. There is a palpable buzz of excitement as dorms fill up once more.

But college can also be a stressful experience. For some students the feelings of anticipation are overshadowed by homesickness, worry, self-doubt and sadness.

Whether you’re heading back to college for your senior year or you’re an incoming freshman, this time of year brings out a pretty intense range of emotions. College is a period of major self-discovery. While it can be thrilling, it’s often stressful as well. Some students are worried about missing friends and family, nervous about moving away from home, excited for a new experience but dreading starting classes.

For students who are nearing the end of their college careers, the future looms ominously. It can be difficult to wrap their heads around it all. Continue reading Why College Students Should Fight the Stigma of Therapy

What If No One Likes the New Me After Therapy?

businessman co-workers excluding gossiping

When I started therapy, it seemed like it was only about feeling better, expelling the poison of my depression and anxiety, and learning to manage my symptoms. After a few months, however, I realized I was changing bit by bit, becoming a better version of myself.

The first time I noticed was when this editor marked a draft of a piece I had been working hard on with a bunch of negative comments, some of which attacked me personally. Once I finished reviewing her criticisms, I began fuming and typing a defensive reply. The desire for retribution briefly overtook my ability to think logically. All I could think about was making her rue the day she insulted me.

Right when I was about to send a response that surely would have made the situation worse, I stopped. To calm down, I took some deep breaths and left my desk for a bit. It was a beautiful summer day and my office was near Bryant Park in New York, so I took a walk, my rage dissipating with each step. When I returned, I was able to reply politely and use the feedback to improve my writing. The outcome was refreshing because the old me would have gone on a digital rampage. I was surprised that self-improvement was actually a major component of working with a therapist. Continue reading What If No One Likes the New Me After Therapy?

Returning to Therapy After a Break

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Like any journey, your therapeutic journey may have starts and stops, highs and lows, departures and returns. Sometimes unexpected changes in life force you to pause the investment in your mental health. Or maybe you wanted a break to focus on another part of your life.

Once you are ready to return to therapy, you might wonder how you should go about it. What should you say to your therapist? Perhaps something to the effect of “I’m back” doesn’t seem like enough.

Ultimately, the therapist is not going to judge or reprimand you for taking a break. Even if you ghosted on your therapist, he or she will most likely approach with curiosity, not anger or criticism. Therapy is a place of acceptance, and no amount of absence can change that. Continue reading Returning to Therapy After a Break

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

Therapy for People of Color: Questions for Potential Therapists

latina woman client black woman therapist couch

Taking the step to start therapy isn’t an easy decision. There are barriers such as cost, access, and unfamiliarity with the process. This can be particularly daunting if you are a person of color, a group that has been chronically underserved by the therapy community.

One in five adults in the U.S. lives with mental illness in a given year. Within that, black and Hispanic Americans access mental health services at about half the rate of their white counterparts. Asian Americans utilize services at about one-third the rate of white Americans. It’s safe to say the mental health community is not meeting the needs of people of color.

If you are a person of color who is considering therapy, here are some questions you may want to keep in mind while you search for a potential therapist: Continue reading Therapy for People of Color: Questions for Potential Therapists

Therapist Tips for How to Feel Better When Life Gets Tough

therapist taking notes female client on couch

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

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