My therapeutic healing journey took a lot of twists and turns - in other words, I saw a lot of therapists over my lifetime.
Not sure about the therapy you're getting?
How would you know?
Hello, I'm Dr. Susan LaCombe, Psychotherapist and Publisher of myShrink.com.
So along the way I learned a lot. For one, I discovered that not all therapists are alike.
Each one comes with their own skill set. And then, a therapist that might be good at one point in your life and might be ill-suited for the challenges in later years.
Then there's the question of whether a therapist is suitable right now. Maybe you're seeing a therapist and questioning the methods he or she is using.
Maybe you're confused about what is being asked of you.
If you tend to be unsure of yourself - which is why you're going to therapy to being with - then trying to make sense of your therapy - may be challenging.
Is Online Counseling for you?
Ever have a concern over the way your current therapy is going and wonder if chatting with another therapist might help?
- Maybe your therapist says very little - every question you pose comes back to you with another.
- Maybe you've been in therapy for months and you're not changing.
- Maybe your therapist doesn't provide any tools to help you feel better and merely says "it's a process" without much more.
I hear you. It's the same questions I had when I went to therapy.
It's not unusual to have questions. Therapy is sometimes more challenging than we expected and there's no easy guidelines to find your way.
Now, before we get too far ahead, let's look at one important option. Consider for a moment if you feel safe and comfortable with your current therapist . . .
. . . if you do, I encourage you to raise the issue or concern with your therapist. These kinds of conversations can deepen your therapy experience and often, the relationship with your therapist.
Indeed, my most memorable moments with clients have occurred when my clients shared concerns that I was totally unaware of. I am truly honoured when clients trust me in this way. And by working through the issue, the feedback I hear is that they often feel more trusting of themselves.
That said, if you have some concerns on how your therapy is being conducted or why your therapist is responding as such and you feel too uncomfortable to talk about the issue face to face, or
you've already raised these issues without success, consider chatting with another therapist.
Another therapist may be able to shed light on your particular concern and reframe it in a way that makes it less overwhelming. He or she might offer some suggestions for instance on how you might broach the issue with your therapist.
I've been in that place before and I have so appreciated the confidential conversation of another therapist I can bounce an idea off.
Every therapist offers something different
Not all therapists are alike (if you're a seasoned client you may have already discovered this). The training, experience and emotional steadiness of each therapist varies widely.
Speaking with another therapist can sometimes offer a perspective that you hadn't considered. In fact, chatting with another therapist might help build the confidence to speak with your regular therapist about any issue that's troubling you.
Best wishes on your journey!
Dr. Susan LaCombe aka "Shrinklady"
P.S. If you are just starting and you have questions about being in therapy - before you're ready to jump into your own therapeutic work - talking to an online therapist whether by phone, email or chat is probably the easiest way to start.
*P.P.S. Just so you know, I've been partnered with BetterHelp - the service listed below. As a way to fund this site, I am compensated by them if you decide to engage a therapist through this site. That doesn't mean you pay anymore.
How to begin
1. Complete a short quiz.
2. Get matched with a counselor.
3. Speak with your counselor as often as you want.
4. Pay one flat monthly fee no matter how often you speak to your therapist.
5. Cancel anytime - there's no obligation.
Speaking to a new counselor for the first time can feel . . . well . . . you probably remember . . . it's a little tough. That's because when we begin a session we're usually triggering everything that's emotionally wrong with us!
Believe me, I know. I've been a new client several times.
Don't worry though - online counselors are quite used to folks showing up in all different emotional states - even those struggling to find words to describe how they're feeling.
I grabbed these comments from real clients so you'd have some reassurance.
Feedback about the Counselors
Written by B. after counseling with Leah Allen for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, relationship, family, self esteem, and anger
Besides being such a kind, caring and down to earth person, she a wealth of knowledge. She makes me really think and challenges me in ways I've never been challenged. Since my short time with her, I feel I have gained so much and she has really helped in quite a few areas of my life. I would recommend her to anybody and everybody as I feel privileged to be working with her.
Written by H.O after counseling with Dr. Dinelly Holder for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, self esteem, and career
Dr. Holder was exactly the type of person I needed when I was going through something I felt I couldn't burned my friends and family with. I felt she was very professional in her response to me. She was great at confidence building and she showed me the negative way I viewed myself and what steps to take in order to start loving myself again. She was very patient with me and I felt like she really understood where I was coming from, which made it easier for me to work on a lot of tough issues, I may otherwise have ignored or shied away from. Most importantly I feel like she really cares about her clients. When I look back during those dark months I will always be grateful to Dr. Holder for her relentless compassion and guidance in helping me understand myself better and arming me with skills to help me live a happier life. Thank you to betterhelp.com also.
Written by L.I after counseling with Nicole A. Myers for 2 months on issues concerning
Nicole is amazing. I myself am a marriage and family therapist intern and was skeptical of actually receiving any benefits from phone/internet therapy. Not only do I get amazing reflective feedback from her, but she also has shown me ways that I can be a better therapist to my clients.
Yup, more people are using online therapy. The reason is simple.
- When you want and where you want: 24/7.
- You have a record of the therapist's comments. Useful for re-reading.
- Many people find it easier to disclose emotionally difficult information.
- Email exchanges give you time to reflect on your therapist's response.
Plus, if you're brand new to counseling it's an easy place to get started.
As I mentioned, once you click through to BetterHelp, you'll be asked to complete a short quiz. That helps them to match the right therapist for you. (And no need to worry - in case you're wondering - you can always request a change of therapists if you feeling you're not a good fit.)
Choose the amount of therapy you need
With the BetterHelp service you'll have the opportunity to choose how often and how long you want to connect with your therapist. This is really important if you feel regular contact is going to help you heal from abandonment.
How it works is that after your free Trial ends - you'll be charged on a monthly basis to use their service as often as you need. So that's one flat fee for as long as you need your therapist. (Why didn't anyone think of that before this!)
The amount of time you wish to spend is up to you. It's more convenient if you find that the typical one hour sessions in traditional therapy too long, or even too short.
Written by K.A after counseling with Jenifer Piegaro for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, self esteem, and anger
Jenifer is amazing. She gets to the heart of the issue, asking the kinds of questions that dig deep. After only a few sessions I felt like I've gotten more out of our work than I have after months with other therapists.
Written by C.A after counseling with Lisa Stammerjohann for 1 month depression, stress, anxiety, and self esteem
She immediately gained my trust and confidence. She's not clinical and it doesn't feel like she's checking off a box. I'm not the "tell it all" kind of personality, but she certainly made me one. She listens, she understands, and I feel like she's a great friend. This was a good match! She's helped me so much in just a short time. Couldn't have asked for "better" help.
Written by M.O after counseling with Velma Jones for 3 weeks addictions, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and career
Velma was able to help me tremendously over these past few sessions. What I like about working with Velma is we don't just talk and then hang up. Every session, she listens and she also gives me specific feedback to help identify the issue, what is causing the issue and the solution. She has provided me with tools and specific daily life exercises and changes that have made a DRAMATIC shift and change that has made the quality of my life experience better and is now addressing the anxiety I have had to manage for my entire adult life and using it as a power for change for the positive. I highly recommend her and feel blessed to be working with her. Thank you, Velma!- M
Review # 11663
Written by K.Y after counseling with Heather Pierucki for 2 months depression, stress, anxiety, family, self esteem, career, and bipolar
When I first started on Better Help I was pretty desperate to find help to ease my mind during my 55+ hour work week managing a business and a 7 month old baby. I love messaging Heather 24/7. I can tell her anything I feel at any point and show her my rollercoaster of emotions and she always have something helpful to respond with. She is proud of me and I am proud of myself. I see a difference and the difference is having her on my side. Thanks Better Help and Heather Pierucki! 5 out of 5! Would recommend and have recommended.
. . . more
Not sure how to start?
Most therapists are used to seeing clients who have a hard time starting. He or she will generally ask questions if you have a hard time articulating the particulars of your problem.
And don't worry if at some point in the session you go blank. That's common as well.
Just give yourself lots of time to reflect. There's no need to hurry.
How to deal with transference issues
Online Crisis Counseling
Online counseling working on abandonment issues
Dissociation and online counseling
I took too long to start counseling . . .
Pros and cons of online therapy
Questionable therapy treatment
Tricky therapy scenarios
Written by P.A after counseling with Cecilia Kosak for 1 month stress, anxiety, and self esteem
I feel fortunate to be working with Cecilia. For years I have been trying to fix my anxiety issues and when I started working on them with Cecilia I finally felt like I was doing the right thing! She's so understanding and never judges and always so supportive!
Written by R.E. after counseling with Shellene Cornish for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, and anger
I was assigned to Shellene when I had my free trial with BetterHelp, which was during a tough time with my family. During that week, Shellene was so understanding and positive, but she's definitely honest and tells it like it is. really enjoyed her quick responses and positive energy that I decided to continue with her after my trial was over! She makes me feel like I can tell her anything with ease and no judgement from her, like another mother figure in my life. She's always encouraging me and facing my fears head-on by providing her own personal stories, which makes me feel like I'm not alone with how I'm feeling.
Review # 11829
Written by A.N. after counseling with Kellie Collins for 10 months stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, and depression
I've been to counselors and group therapy for years, and at first wasn't certain about using a service like BetterHelp. But I'm incredibly grateful to have the support for Kellie over the past year, during a tough emotional time in my life. She is very compassionate, patient, and easy to open up to. Her advice rings true, and is skilled at helping others coping with trauma/abuse and grief.