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?
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
Ashley Laderer remembers exactly when therapy started working for her, the first time she could feel its benefits without any doubts or skepticism. The healing began with a single, surprising word: “lumpy.”
During her initial sessions Laderer constantly felt nauseous and had anxiety about vomiting.
“My therapist was like, ‘We need to stop giving the nausea so much power. Let’s make it less powerful,’” Laderer recalled.
Rather than saying she felt nauseous or had nausea, her therapist suggested using “lumpy” to describe what she was experiencing.
“At first it seemed so silly and I always forgot to use the word,” Laderer said. “But then in session I would always say ‘lumpy’ instead of nauseous.”
Shortly after, Laderer felt significantly better about her nausea and anxiety. She recognized this as a result of therapy. Continue reading When Does Therapy Start ‘Working?’
Since the end of the 2016 election and the beginning of Trump’s presidency, there is one insult that has become increasingly frequent: “snowflake,” a slang term for an overly sensitive, politically correct, stereotypically liberal person (more often millennials than people of all ages). These days there are many conservative Internet-goers and Trump supporters who use it to put down or provoke anyone they disagree with.
We’re not involved in politics, yet people often throw this word our way. If you’re familiar with Talkspace, it might be because you saw one of our ads on Facebook. These ads are great for reminding people they have the opportunity to work with a therapist in a way that might be more affordable and convenient for them.
The only problem with the ads is they reach some mean-spirited people across the Internet. Some of these people leave rude comments. They insult those who are considering trying Talkspace. We frequently see the declaration that anyone who uses Talkspace or goes to therapy is a snowflake. Continue reading ‘Snowflake’ – A New Insult for People Who Go to Therapy
I’ve always been a supporter of therapy. We’re so close to our problems and stressors. Talking with someone from the outside is often the only way to make sense of it all.
I recently saw one therapist for a little more than a year to work on one issue. After only a few sessions it was clear this issue wasn’t what I thought it was. It had been acting as a cover for many years, masking problems I didn’t realize I had.
We were talking about a few specific concerns in each session. Nonetheless, I found that the following four lessons are actually applicable in many other areas of life. Consider how you can use them to work through problems of your own. Continue reading 4 Important Life Lessons I Learned in Therapy
Couples counseling can strike fear into the hearts of many people. Couples might picture a therapist who judges them, allies with one partner over the other, gives couples unworkable or fluffy “solutions” to their problems or who means well but is a waste of time and money.
It’s unfortunate that so many couples feel this way. As a couples counselor, I have seen how couples can benefit greatly from counseling. Here is a rundown of some couples counseling fears and myths versus reality. It will help you decide whether or not to start counseling with your partner. Continue reading 7 Fears You Might Have About Couples Counseling
As the manager of a blog for an online therapy company, I frequently encourage my friends, family members and acquaintances to work with a psychotherapist for the first time. Psychotherapy improved my mental health and has helped me achieve much of what I want, so I try to give them the same opportunity.
Unfortunately some of them dismiss it. One of the most commons rationales for refusal is,
“Why would I pay so much for a therapist when I can buy a bunch of self-help books?”
Continue reading ‘Why Pay So Much for a Therapist When I Can Buy Self-Help Books?’
Therapy with a licensed professional is becoming more mainstream. Thanks to online therapy, millions more people are trying therapy for the first time.
There are, however, still some popular myths that often prevent people from going to therapy. As a licensed therapist who has helped clients move past these myths, I wanted to take some time to point them out and debunk them. Continue reading This Therapist Debunks 4 Popular Myths About Going to Therapy
You finished chatting with your therapist and you feel bad, horrible even. It’s frustrating because therapy was supposed to make you feel better. Now you’re feeling awful, maybe worse than before you started therapy.
It is actually normal to occasionally feel bad or worse after therapy, especially during the beginning of your work with a therapist. It can be a sign of progress. As counterintuitive as it may sound, feeling bad during therapy can be good. Continue reading Why You Might Feel Bad (Or Worse) After Therapy
Talking to a friend may be free, but only working with a therapist will give you the cognitive and emotional skills to live a happier life.
When we don’t completely understand what psychotherapy is, it’s easy to assume it won’t be more beneficial than talking to a friend. Like a relationship with a friend, seeing a therapist involves conversing with someone, being vulnerable and maybe receiving advice. These aspects of therapy are, however, only a small part of the experience.
Once you learn the differences between working with a therapist and talking to a friend, it will be easy to see how therapy might be worth the investment. It’s more than paying to chat with someone, and it carries less risks than treating your friends like therapists. Continue reading How Working With a Therapist is Different Than Talking to a Friend