How can counseling or psychotherapy help us be more authentic, more in charge of our own lives, and better able to express ourselves creatively?
Claire Danes once made a succinct comment about the value of counseling:
“My therapist gives me permission to accept that I’m human.”
Therapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She notes “Emotional issues, creative blocks, anxieties, depression, or unfulfilling relationships” can interfere and “take over.”
Therapy, she adds, can be “a powerful transformative journey that can take you from feeling unhappy and stuck to living with emotional freedom…”
Playwright Tony Kushner and actor Maggie Gyllenhaal talked about the values of counseling and exploring the unconscious through psychoanalysis.
See more in article How can psychotherapy benefit actors and other artists?
Can online therapy provide valuable counseling help?
Most of us experience mental or emotional health challenges to some degree, at some times in our lives.
Seeing a therapist in person can be the best choice for some people and some issues. But an alternative that can be helpful for many people is online therapy.
A CBS News article noted for people who “don’t have the time or money for traditional counseling or psychotherapy, a number of startups now offer a high-tech alternative.
“Sign up for one of these sites and you can reach out and communicate with a counselor via Internet, phone or text messages.”
The article notes “Several small studies have found the approach shows promise for certain patients.
“Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews… found that therapist-supported cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered over the Internet appears to be an effective treatment option for anxiety in adults.
“Another review published in 2014 found that telephone or online counseling could help people with depression return to work sooner.”
One online therapy client says it suits her needs:
“There’s very little financial risk to do it,” said Abagail, a New York City actress.
The article notes “She decided to try once-a-week phone sessions combined with some online assignments to help cope with her social anxiety and stage fright” and has been pleased with the results.
“The way I feel about my career and my social interaction in general is completely different,” she said.
What to know before you try online therapy, CBS News Dec 30, 2015.
The photo at top comes from the article Here’s the truth about online therapy by Business Insider Australia, which notes:
“As for smartphone apps, researchers think that they can be beneficial because they allow users to log how they feel in real-time, gathering more accurate data than that stored in memory.
“Research has backed this up: One study of self-monitoring apps found they help users increase their self-awareness and improve depressive symptoms.
“However, there’s still not much research about the efficacy of smartphone apps for mental health…”
Here is a short video by one online therapy service, Talkspace.
Talkspace offers “affordable, anonymous therapy with a professional licensed therapist, anytime and anyplace, through a mobile device or on the web.
“With Talkspace, you can text, audio message, or video message your therapist without having to wait.”
Learn more at Talkspace Online Therapy.
*Note – The above is an affiliate link (and perhaps others on this page), which means the company pays me a commission, if you choose to make a purchase. There is no extra cost to you. See details in note below the end of this article.
What to Expect From Your First Online Therapy Experience
by Josh Wolff, Talkspace
At its core, online therapy’s objective is similar to that of brick-and-mortar therapy: provide tools, solutions, and ways to reframe your current issues, allowing you to overcome challenges in many areas of your life.
Online therapy differs, however, in that it puts therapy in the palm of you hand and enables you to share your thoughts and challenges anytime you wish.
This makes therapy more convenient and affordable for those who are new to the experience.
Additionally, online or text-based therapy (like Talkspace) is known to be as effective, if not more, than brick-and-mortar therapy. [Telemedicine and e-Health, Vol. 23, No. 3.]
Here’s what to expect when beginning your online therapy experience, and how to set expectations for positive outcomes along the way.
Matching with a Therapist
Matching with a therapist who understands why you’re seeking therapy — and fits your personality — is crucial to helping you achieve your mental health goals.
While Hollywood paints therapists as stuffy, older men with legal pads, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Therapists are uniquely compassionate people with diverse backgrounds. They can be as quirky and fun as you are, which helps build an important connection as you begin to work together.
Read more of the article:
What to Expect From Your First Online Therapy Experience.
Another service – Online-Therapy.com – provides personal therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), “which is one of the most commonly used psychotherapeutic approaches.
“It helps you to identify, challenge and overcome your dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors and emotions.”
video: The Basics of CBT
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo “is a licensed clinical psychologist with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Psychology.
“She has been honored by giving a prestigious TED-x talk and is frequently interviewed by today’s top media outlets including; The Today Show, Dr. Oz, The Steve Harvey Show, Fox News, CNN, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Health, MSNBC, USA Today and National Public Radio.”
One advantage of online therapy is you can be anonymous.
“At Online-Therapy.com, you avoid being exposed in the waiting room or in a therapist’s office, which can be very intimidating.
“In this online environment, you will choose a nickname that your therapist will know you by.
“You will also be able to choose another nickname for your interactions in the forum. If at any point, you choose to reveal your real name, it is totally up to you.”
Help with anxiety –
Anxiety is one of many issues people get help with from therapists at Online-Therapy.com.
In this video, Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD talks about “anxiety and how CBT can help you if you are suffering from anxiety.
“First of all, anxiety – in small doses – does not harm us. In fact, it helps us to stay alert and focused and to deal with challenging situations. Feeling anxious from time to time is just normal.
“But when you can’t seem to shake your concerns and your daily life is a constant state of worry and fear, then anxiety has taken an unhealthy grip on your life.”
Other issues that can be helped by the service:
Learn more at the site:
A Forbes magazine article describes the service:
BetterHelp, which was founded in 2013, has led the transformation of the sector and is now considered one of the world’s leading online platforms for therapy.
Initially launched as a messaging-based service only, it now also includes options for video conferencing, live chat, and phone sessions. While (for now) their therapists are all based and licensed in the U.S., clients come from anywhere in the world.
While there were some initial concerns about delivering therapy online—as is the case with most new innovations—the service has gained traction and studies continue to show its effectiveness.
Dr. Sonya Bruner, a licensed clinical psychologist and a BetterHelp counselor since 2015, says online therapy is a particularly popular choice for anyone looking to improve their quality of life and may be experiencing challenges that aren’t necessarily affecting their daily functioning.
This could include things like phase of life issues through to generalized anxiety and depression.
From article “Technology Trend Helping Therapy Finally Become The New Norm And Improving Mental Wellbeing” by Danielle Brooker, Forbes.com Jun 30, 2019.
Video with licensed therapist Dr. Sonya Bruner: “When Online Therapy & Counseling Is Appropriate vs When It Isn’t”
Learn more at the site:
BetterHelp “offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).”