How To Tell If You’re Talking to a Bot: The Complete Guide to Chatbots

bot spam code

Quick Note from Talkspace: Because we provide online messaging therapy, we frequently hear from potential clients who want to be sure they are chatting with a therapist, not a chatbot. All of our therapists are licensed, flesh and blood humans, but we understand the concern. Whether it’s online therapy, social media or online dating, everyone deserves to chat with the humans they believe they are connecting with. We made this guide so people can answer the big question: Bot or not?

When we message with people on the Internet, we deserve to know they are, well, people. In a time where bots drive more than 60% of web traffic, it’s reasonable for consumers to be wary of chatbots masquerading as humans.

This variety of bot talks with you on sites such as Tinder and Facebook. Programmers design chatbots to simulate real conversation long enough to convince you to buy something, click on a link or offer personal information.

The key to detecting and reporting them is understanding how they work in various contexts. Then you can exploit their weaknesses and out them as robots! Continue reading How To Tell If You’re Talking to a Bot: The Complete Guide to Chatbots

How to Find a Therapist Online: Steps Before You Commit

woman home online dating sweats

I’ll admit I did not handle things well the first time I searched for a therapist. I punched in my zip code on my family’s mental health care provider website and picked from the first page of results. That was my search.

cat sitting on computer therapist search
I might as well have been doing this.

Because I didn’t take the necessary steps, I wasted time and money going from therapist to therapist before finding a good fit. I didn’t know about online therapy, which would’ve helped me because I didn’t have my own car and couldn’t rely on the limited public transportation in my hometown. Even after I found the right therapist, I moved across the country and had to start the process again (another hassle online therapy would’ve circumvented).

If you want an online therapist and a better search experience than I had, follow these steps. Continue reading How to Find a Therapist Online: Steps Before You Commit

This Is What Anxiety Does To Your Body (An Infographic)

This Is What Anxiety Does To Your Body (An Infographic)

Because you really enjoyed our post, How Stress Affects Our Bodies, we’ve decided to follow up with one about Anxiety. So, let’s do this!

When you think about anxiety, do you start to feel a bit anxious, slightly uncomfortable, and perhaps a little sweaty? If so, that’s OK. According to WebMD.com: “Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision.” Continue reading This Is What Anxiety Does To Your Body (An Infographic)

Dear Therapist: I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep

Dear Therapist_I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep

As a chronic insomniac, I can honestly tell you that getting enough sleep is crucial for anyone, but especially for those battling mental health disorders.

– by Anonymous Talkspace User  

I want you to look back on your life and think about your mood, behavior, and interactions with other people when you’ve had less than 5 hours of sleep. You were probably irritable, highly susceptible to engaging in conflict, and slow in you thinking but quick in your reactions to unpleasant stimuli. Now, imagine being sleep deprived, while also dealing with a mental disorder. Basically, not sleeping can exacerbate any mental condition, making it significantly worse in people who have trouble sleeping as opposed to those that don’t. Continue reading Dear Therapist: I Know You Can’t Help Me Unless I Sleep

Does Social Media Have You In A Cage?

Does Social Media Have you in a Cage?

Participating on social media can help build new relationships or rekindle old ones, either way, it’s a great way to communicate with others – until it isn’t.

Does Polly want a cracker?

At first, social media can make us feel closer to other people. We may feel a sense of community with the groups we engage in, and it can calm our anxieties about being all alone, or meet our human need to belong. It helps us feel “liked”.

But for some people, engaging in social media may stop feeling good after a certain point. What was originally supposed to be a convenient way to connect and bring about more social freedom to their relationships can start to feel like a cage where they are forced to check, click, or comment in order to get fed.

Continue reading Does Social Media Have You In A Cage?

Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?

Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?

You may be depressed, but you could also be experiencing sorrow, grief, sadness, or a yearning for something you miss. Do you know how to tell the difference?

You’ve probably heard of this popular saying: Depression is anger turned inward. It means the anger that you may be holding within has nowhere to go – it simply festers inside. Just like undigested food can turn putrid, the anger can evolve into depression. You may feel lethargic and dull, uninterested in anything – including getting out of bed. You may find yourself crying, or being moody and irritable. Your sex drive may be reduced to nothing and you could be feeling suicidal. Continue reading Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?

Dear Therapist: How Does This Whole Forgiveness Thing Work Anyway?

Dear Therapist_ How Does This Whole Forgiveness Thing Work Anyway?

Forgiveness,
Is more than saying sorry
Forgiveness,
Means accepting peoples flaws…  – via Just Friends

– by Anonymous Talkspace User

Forgive. Let Go. Move On. That’s what I read in every article that talks about healing emotional wounds and finding love for the people that hurt you. The thing is, though, I don’t really know how to forgive – and when my therapist asked me about what I expected forgiveness to actually look like, I genuinely didn’t have an answer. I still don’t, but it’s a damn good question. Continue reading Dear Therapist: How Does This Whole Forgiveness Thing Work Anyway?

Your Therapy: I Just Got Dumped, By My Personal Trainer, But Still

Your Therapy: I Just Got Dumped, By My Personal Trainer, But Still

It may seem silly – but my personal trainer just dumped me, giving me a glimpse into what clients may feel when they hear that their therapist is leaving or transitioning, and will no longer be able to see them.

I literally just saw my trainer yesterday. And then today, I get a call from some other trainer – a “new guy” – telling me that he is taking over my former trainer’s clients. (What?) And, he wants to schedule a time for me to come in for a session! Surely, this must be a mistake – not only did I get dumped, I am already being set up! I mean, my last trainer and I haven’t really been seeing each other all that long, but he has witnessed me in some pretty vulnerable states, which will now be observed by someone else! 

Continue reading Your Therapy: I Just Got Dumped, By My Personal Trainer, But Still

The Scientific Power of Meditation – Decoded

The Scientific Power of Meditation - Decoded

Practicing meditation “means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.”

You hear that it’s good for you on the news, on the radio, and from every health enthusiast you speak to, but do you understand how meditation works – like scientifically? If not, you’re in luck, because the guys at ASAPscience – you know, the ones we told you about last Friday? – have done it again! In a concise, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining manner, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown take you through the science of mediation in exactly 3 very informative minutes. And you should totally watch it!  Continue reading The Scientific Power of Meditation – Decoded

Dear Therapist: I’m Hearing You Say My Communication Skills Need Work

Dear Therapist: I’m Hearing You Say My Communication Needs Work

When we think of communication, it may seem like there’s nothing to it, but it’s actually one of the most difficult things to do effectively. And, it can make a world of difference in every relationship we have once we learn how to do it better.

– by Anonymous Talkspace User

When I first started therapy, I didn’t think my communication skills were that bad – I actually thought they were fairly decent. But, I quickly learned that there was much room for improvement. The thing is, people are different, and when it comes to communicating, especially in an emotional state, there’s a lot that could go wrong. Subjective experiences tend to interfere a lot more than I’ve previously realized, and our expectations can significantly cloud our understanding of the words coming out of someone else’s mouth. Continue reading Dear Therapist: I’m Hearing You Say My Communication Skills Need Work