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Talkspace/Betterhelp/etc

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#1
So, I've been thrust into an unexpected situation recently where I am now hourly employee with benefits! and not a loner contractor being paid piecemeal production (I won't say specifically what work but is one done remotely for years, I just call it grunt work ha). It's remote/virtual/work-at home work, but still there are video daily stand-up meetings with the team and twice weekly gatherings with the whole gang of 150+ employees (who are otherworldly to me, being more of a grunt worker type), and did I mention I'm a loner, socially awkward type and still have acne in old age? Oh, and also, apparently a permanent employee has a set amount of time to get work done and can't allow the mind to wander or do research lest you fall behind on production. I also audit others and feel like I should like, know what I'm doing but I don't and I'm not perfect or a fast thinker and I'm being crushed by high expectations in a formal employee setting.

I got an email about TalkSpace being available now for free through the Employee Assistance Program and I thought it might help me cope and not you know, cry on the job and want to quit over little things, because it's a job and I'd be a fool to give up too easily and I might be kicking myself real hard if I don't try, or worse; I give up easily and can't do it again.

So I signed up at TalkSpace, and only one therapist was available but seemed like one that can deal with stress/anxiety/depression/career issues. But he hasn't provided much to me, just comments that I seem stressed and maybe wanting a break. I've never done therapy so had no idea what I should be doing and he's like, up to me. No real guidance. Anyway, mostly he seemed to be pushing for a video session, which fortunately my benefit offers 6 sessions. I thought texting would be better but everyone says that's not real therapy and a lot is not translated through text. I'm not real good at talking and remember relevant things too late, but whatever. I figure if it's needed for him to do his job then I should at least try that as well. I'm so trying!

I scheduled a video session, and he wrote back asking me to detail a bit more about my work stresses, which that I had settled was to be my main focus for now. I sent one long paragraph for one issue and said I'd continue later. Of course, he is obligated to respond timely in some fashion by Talkspace contract and only said he'll reply more in depth shortly. The next day was a day off and then he didn't reply on his next working day. I wasn't expecting a reply in the first place but was kind of disappointed since he did say he will reply "soon", leaving me curious and hanging. Whatever, I'm new at therapy and not getting anywhere yet. Finally I wrote out 2 paragraphs on another issue, and got the mandatory timely response... that he's overwhelmed with new clients (ironic because I feel overwhelmed at work) but will read what I wrote and be "present" with me in a few days. I didn't write back, because he seems busy and I would just get a canned timely response back per his contract, which the responses have been basically saying I'm too busy for you. I'm still waiting for hopefully a real response but not holding my breath it will be useful considering the quality of the prior replies though. Not sure I want to waste a video session with him but I have a couple weeks until that happens and maybe he will write back. But I'm feeling forgotten and of no importance.

So I looked up Betterhelp and saw a way to get a free month trial. You don't get to pick a therapist, they try to match one to you based on responses. It appears that the counselors look at your intake form and what you wrote and decide if you are worthy. And no one is finding me worthy. I got an email apologizing for the delay, saying there are limited therapists in my area, which might be true considering the lack of choices at TalkSpace as well. I did check Talkspace week ago and there were 2 more options, but neither one really "spoke" to me and how can I decide based on sparse info? Annoyingly, you have to rate your current therapist to see what other therapists there are, and I don't know that it's anonymous, so I don't know if he saw the star ratings I gave him...

I kind of feel like my problems are not that important to waste a therapist slot on when they are so in demand and that I'm just whiny and weak. I can't imagine scheduling a more "traditional" video session that isn't through one of these platforms. I've seen a couple counselors (one of these a couples counselor) before but not enough to consider it therapy and they seemed domineering and I felt I was just a big "sigh" to them. How does one select a therapist when it's so expensive to try one and they rarely have websites? I don't even known what to look for to get a good match.

I'm just writing to share my experiences so far with these platforms if it's of interest for anyone considering. I'll update if there are any updates because not much seems to be happening to update about!
 
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adamjam

Well-Known Member
#2
So, I've been thrust into an unexpected situation recently where I am now hourly employee with benefits! and not a loner contractor being paid piecemeal production (I won't say specifically what work but is one done remotely for years, I just call it grunt work ha). It's remote/virtual/work-at home work, but still there are video daily stand-up meetings with the team and twice weekly gatherings with the whole gang of 150+ employees (who are otherworldly to me, being more of a grunt worker type), and did I mention I'm a loner, socially awkward type and still have acne in old age? Oh, and also, apparently a permanent employee has a set amount of time to get work done and can't allow the mind to wander or do research lest you fall behind on production. I also audit others and feel like I should like, know what I'm doing but I don't and I'm not perfect or a fast thinker and I'm being crushed by high expectations in a formal employee setting.

I got an email about TalkSpace being available now for free through the Employee Assistance Program and I thought it might help me cope and not you know, cry on the job and want to quit over little things, because it's a job and I'd be a fool to give up too easily and I might be kicking myself real hard if I don't try, or worse; I give up easily and can't do it again.

So I signed up at TalkSpace, and only one therapist was available but seemed like one that can deal with stress/anxiety/depression/career issues. But he hasn't provided much to me, just comments that I seem stressed and maybe wanting a break. I've never done therapy so had no idea what I should be doing and he's like, up to me. No real guidance. Anyway, mostly he seemed to be pushing for a video session, which fortunately my benefit offers 6 sessions. I thought texting would be better but everyone says that's not real therapy and a lot is not translated through text. I'm not real good at talking and remember relevant things too late, but whatever. I figure if it's needed for him to do his job then I should at least try that as well. I'm so trying!

I scheduled a video session, and he wrote back asking me to detail a bit more about my work stresses, which that I had settled was to be my main focus for now. I sent one long paragraph for one issue and said I'd continue later. Of course, he is obligated to respond timely in some fashion by Talkspace contract and only said he'll reply more in depth shortly. The next day was a day off and then he didn't reply on his next working day. I wasn't expecting a reply in the first place but was kind of disappointed since he did say he will reply "soon", leaving me curious and hanging. Whatever, I'm new at therapy and not getting anywhere yet. Finally I wrote out 2 paragraphs on another issue, and got the mandatory timely response... that he's overwhelmed with new clients (ironic because I feel overwhelmed at work) but will read what I wrote and be "present" with me in a few days. I didn't write back, because he seems busy and I would just get a canned timely response back per his contract, which the responses have been basically saying I'm too busy for you. I'm still waiting for hopefully a real response but not holding my breath it will be useful considering the quality of the prior replies though. Not sure I want to waste a video session with him but I have a couple weeks until that happens and maybe he will write back. But I'm feeling forgotten and of no importance.

So I looked up Betterhelp and saw a way to get a free month trial. You don't get to pick a therapist, they try to match one to you based on responses. It appears that the counselors look at your intake form and what you wrote and decide if you are worthy. And no one is finding me worthy. I got an email apologizing for the delay, saying there are limited therapists in my area, which might be true considering the lack of choices at TalkSpace as well. I did check Talkspace week ago and there were 2 more options, but neither one really "spoke" to me and how can I decide based on sparse info? Annoyingly, you have to rate your current therapist to see what other therapists there are, and I don't know that it's anonymous, so I don't know if he saw the star ratings I gave him...

I kind of feel like my problems are not that important to waste a therapist slot on when they are so in demand and that I'm just whiny and weak. I can't imagine scheduling a more "traditional" video session that isn't through one of these platforms. I've seen a couple counselors (one of these a couples counselor) before but not enough to consider it therapy and they seemed domineering and I felt I was just a big "sigh" to them. How does one select a therapist when it's so expensive to try one and they rarely have websites? I don't even known what to look for to get a good match.

I'm just writing to share my experiences so far with these platforms if it's of interest for anyone considering. I'll update if there are any updates because not much seems to be happening to update about!
Hello, congrats on the benefits! That's really awesome for you. Starting anew can be difficult especially with the whole socially awkward, adult acne thing, which I get. Not sure if you want advice so feel free to ignore this, in the past I have found that taking notes on what my duties are very helpful as it was a way to learn my job in the off hours, this requires asking questions, which can be hard, but I have found people genuinely want to help. Especially as it will make their jobs easier in the "long run."
As for therapy, finding the right therapist can be tricky indeed and requires some perseverance. I have been using the betterhelp platform for a year now, they do offer a financial aid discount and I encourage you to apply for it, even working you may qualify. I have been through three therapists and think I have found the "right" one for me, I wasn't offered a therapist that fit my profile either and ended up scrolling through and picking a likely candidate. Keep trying, if you dont feel one is right for you switch counselors immediately to avoid prolonging your pain. I hope this helps and apologize if you just needed to vent, and didnt want advice.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#4
I did end up leaving my first TS therapist after not hearing anything for a few days after the weekend. I could have told him I felt forgotten and given him a chance in that regard, but I don't think it was going to work anyway. The next therapist I chose had no video sessions and seemed to think I only had 2 weeks or two 750-word sessions with her through my benefit. Like, what can get done in that time? She also only works 4 days even though they are supposed to work 5. She also kind of lied and said the Reply button (where you get a Guaranteed Response Time) is outdated and only to be used for emergencies. Yet it's a fairly new feature, one that the therapists don't like. Anyway, I left her right away but mainly because a therapist I had identified as maybe being good, became available. She is text-based only too. She also says the button is for emergencies and that she has regular check-in times. I almost miss my first therapist who, until getting slammed with clients and putting me off, would respond even if I didn't use the button, and had video sessions available.

I am very shy and don't like how I look or sound but even I now realize video sessions (or in-person if able) are the way to go. With texting, it's starting to feel like nothing could get accomplished, the therapist may not write much and it will take forever to tell a story and get any help, and there's no accountability. I say this after having been matched with a Betterhelp therapist and having a video session. I think she does video only; we didn't talk about texting at all. She scheduled a 30-minute session but our first session ran 45 minutes. She was very easy to talk to, and if I had someone like her 25 years ago, maybe I would be in a better shape. She did assign a couple worksheets which I doubt I'll do; worksheets seem to be a Betterhelp "thing". Unfortunately, Betterhelp is extremely expensive. I don't know yet about qualifying for sliding scale. I don't know what happens if the therapist takes a vacation and you don't get any therapy for a week, yet you pay for a month at a time! I think that's a problem with both platforms. There is no guarantee how much time they spend with you. So unfortunately I doubt I will continue beyond my free trial.

I've look at all my health insurance therapists and just can't see to find one that immediately appeals to me. It would be nice if their search included my whole state considering telehealth is a thing. Most of the therapists seem young and somewhat inexperienced; my Betterhelp therapist is probably my age or older (considering I did check that box ha). It would be nice to find one that specialized more in adult individuals (rather than couples, family, youth) and didn't have a religious or spiritual lean.

My insurance doesn't pay for any therapy until a deductible is met, so that's a bummer, knowing you have to start at the first of the year to get the best bang for the buck, assuming you have to go long-term of course! I may have 6 sessions through EAP unless I accidentally used my authorization on Talkspace.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#5
Hello, congrats on the benefits! That's really awesome for you. Starting anew can be difficult especially with the whole socially awkward, adult acne thing, which I get. Not sure if you want advice so feel free to ignore this, in the past I have found that taking notes on what my duties are very helpful as it was a way to learn my job in the off hours, this requires asking questions, which can be hard, but I have found people genuinely want to help. Especially as it will make their jobs easier in the "long run."
As for therapy, finding the right therapist can be tricky indeed and requires some perseverance. I have been using the betterhelp platform for a year now, they do offer a financial aid discount and I encourage you to apply for it, even working you may qualify. I have been through three therapists and think I have found the "right" one for me, I wasn't offered a therapist that fit my profile either and ended up scrolling through and picking a likely candidate. Keep trying, if you dont feel one is right for you switch counselors immediately to avoid prolonging your pain. I hope this helps and apologize if you just needed to vent, and didnt want advice.
Thank you. When my trial is about to expire, I'll ask about the discount. I can't imagine paying almost $500/month. At the very least, I would want a guaranteed 50-minute session. I did match with a very sweet therapist. I wish I could set up something more direct with her and not go through Betterhelp. I don't think she has that capability. I'll see how the next session goes now that the intro is out of the way and see what therapy can really do besides having a kind person to talk to :)

I had a meeting with my manager today to go over some of my questions. I found she talks too fast and over my head. I didn't much sleep last night and finally I requested she slow down. She apologized but I still couldn't follow her train of thought. She also "jokingly" called herself mean and a jerk. It was a bit weird but I hope she was just joking and venting out of frustration. She did relate her young daughter calls her mean.
 

Nick

☆☆Admin-tastic ☆☆
Admin
SF Social Media
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#6
Thank you. When my trial is about to expire, I'll ask about the discount. I can't imagine paying almost $500/month. At the very least, I would want a guaranteed 50-minute session. I did match with a very sweet therapist. I wish I could set up something more direct with her and not go through Betterhelp. I don't think she has that capability. I'll see how the next session goes now that the intro is out of the way and see what therapy can really do besides having a kind person to talk to :)

I had a meeting with my manager today to go over some of my questions. I found she talks too fast and over my head. I didn't much sleep last night and finally I requested she slow down. She apologized but I still couldn't follow her train of thought. She also "jokingly" called herself mean and a jerk. It was a bit weird but I hope she was just joking and venting out of frustration. She did relate her young daughter calls her mean.
I'm glad you're giving this therapist a try, and I hope it works out for you. At least to get things in a better place. I does cost a lot for therapy these days, but a lot of places are offering discounts to help those who can't afford it.

My boss also refers to herself as mean and a jerk. I suppose if you didn't understand her personality you could take her that way, but she really isn't mean at all. If she is saying that about herself in that manner, I wouldn't be too worried. Learning a new job requirements is never easy. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#7
I'm glad you're giving this therapist a try, and I hope it works out for you. At least to get things in a better place. I does cost a lot for therapy these days, but a lot of places are offering discounts to help those who can't afford it.

My boss also refers to herself as mean and a jerk. I suppose if you didn't understand her personality you could take her that way, but she really isn't mean at all. If she is saying that about herself in that manner, I wouldn't be too worried. Learning a new job requirements is never easy. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
Indeed, this is part of the reason I need therapy, to give some kind of perspective, and even words of encouragement from a stranger can mean so much. So thank you Nick! I've been feeling acutely alone today and despaired. It's the weekend and I'm all :( :(
 

adamjam

Well-Known Member
#8
Thank you. When my trial is about to expire, I'll ask about the discount. I can't imagine paying almost $500/month. At the very least, I would want a guaranteed 50-minute session. I did match with a very sweet therapist. I wish I could set up something more direct with her and not go through Betterhelp. I don't think she has that capability. I'll see how the next session goes now that the intro is out of the way and see what therapy can really do besides having a kind person to talk to :)

I had a meeting with my manager today to go over some of my questions. I found she talks too fast and over my head. I didn't much sleep last night and finally I requested she slow down. She apologized but I still couldn't follow her train of thought. She also "jokingly" called herself mean and a jerk. It was a bit weird but I hope she was just joking and venting out of frustration. She did relate her young daughter calls her mean.
I'm glad you found a therapist, I spent 15yrs in the mental health system and had one decent counselor that whole time, so I understand how tedious it can be. I hope it goes well for you.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#9
My Talkspace adventure continues. Good thing it's free through EAP. I wouldn't recommend this service to anyone, but "your mileage may vary." The therapists just let the conversation die out. It's like with anyone else, you hesitantly bring up something serious and they totally ignore it because they don't want to deal with it. Instead, they just talk about themselves or focus on something else you said that isn't so serious. I figured, heck, I'll just discuss overeating and wanting to lose a few pounds at first, relatively benign. My current "therapist" sent a nice audio message to me. Her message was about her dieting experience and what she finds works best and mini waffle makers are great and juicing is cool too. I sent a long message back incorporating emptiness of life and not doing good self-care in terms of meals, and she replied she just loves her Instant Pot and mentioned where I could buy vegan meals delivered and that she had watched all the documentaries too (I'm vegan but considering she was talking about meat in her audio message, I don't think she is). Yay. End of convo.

As for Betterhelp, it's not so bad. She feels like a real therapist and doesn't shy away from negative thoughts LOL. I followed up the last session with a text message because I realized I forgot to relate something that had happened that week that bothered me. This was the first time I had texted outside of my "why am I here" paragraph she loves to recite back to me (making me squirm). She realized I expressed myself well in writing and offered to do chat session instead. At first I hesitated, said I won't put some thoughts into text, then I changed my mind. Who knows, maybe it will be more helpful. I still won't put some thoughts out there in chat, but those thoughts don't necessarily need to be discussed for the moment. It's just a trial. She's only done it once before. I still doubt I can continue unless Betterhelp drastically lowers the fee. I could buy education or something else.

I don't feel therapists/counselors really care judging by Talkspace and the stories of others here. To find a good fit takes wayyy too long. I just thought it might be nice to have someone and to sort out my lingering issues before the next Really Down Period comes. I can't imagine trying to find somebody in that state.
 
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shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#10
Talkspace: I browse therapist options as a guest using the same info as my main account, so I can see if a nice-sounding therapist becomes available. If so, I can log into my main account and see if I get the same option, and switch. This time, I only got an option to chat with the matching agent. The matching agent said they couldn't help me due to last therapist not working out and to email support and be put on a manual matching list. Support says demand is high and the ticket is closed, but they'll keep me in mind if a therapist becomes available. My "guest" account had 9 options. So obviously I've switched too many times or something or am too much trouble. I wrote back saying this has been paid for and they are rather dismissive and why does my guest account have options. I'm waiting to hear back, wondering if I will.

Talkspace was really my only hope for help due to the cost of therapy. I can't blow money trying out real therapists and see if a connection can be made. I can't connect with fricken anyone (my extent of cursing lol..)

I just really frustrated today for many reasons argh!
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#11
This might be an unpopular opinion and in particular during this pandemic/lockdown situation.

I will always advice people to go to IRL therapy than doing it over web-based solutions like Skype, texting etc. Always!

And I know that isn't as cheap as online counseling/therapy. But that's the exact reason these services exist. Not to provide you with a better alternative but a cheaper one that isn't as effecient as a IRL therapy session. IMO it's a subpar service taking advantage of desperate people who can't afford a psychologist. It might help some but I can't see it being more helpful than hotlines or communities that are free. I apologize if my opinion is a bit blunt or rough. I think you should do what you feel is best for you but atleast remember to insist on some kind of professionalism from whatever online therapy sites you might try.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#12
This might be an unpopular opinion and in particular during this pandemic/lockdown situation.

I will always advice people to go to IRL therapy than doing it over web-based solutions like Skype, texting etc. Always!

And I know that isn't as cheap as online counseling/therapy. But that's the exact reason these services exist. Not to provide you with a better alternative but a cheaper one that isn't as effecient as a IRL therapy session. IMO it's a subpar service taking advantage of desperate people who can't afford a psychologist. It might help some but I can't see it being more helpful than hotlines or communities that are free. I apologize if my opinion is a bit blunt or rough. I think you should do what you feel is best for you but atleast remember to insist on some kind of professionalism from whatever online therapy sites you might try.
I don't have a car /don't drive and transportation is rough. I can do video therapy but I don't know how to find a good fit. I spent a long time looking at Psychology Today profiles! I do agree text therapy is not good especially on its own. I'm not sure the text therapy is even cheap but it's so variable. At least a couple of the TS therapists left little audio messages. i'm such a disorganized thinker/talker I feel like I need a bit of both options, writing and talking. My insurance doesn't cover anything until the deductible is reached :( My experience is one example of these services not being ideal. At BetterHelp, you don't even get to choose a therapist (though I hear there are ways..); fortunately, mine is not a robot. It looks like some therapists just like the convenience of having BetterHelp providing a platform and adverstise BetterHelp is where to find them.

Unfortunately, these services can leave people (like me) feeling even worse off.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#13
I had a live chat session (instead of video) with my Betterhelp counselor. This I did not feel went so well. Sure, I "said" a lot more, and it was more "enjoyable" to her because I talked more, which just made me like crud, and judged. Pretty much the focus was on trying to find something fun for me to do to relax but therapists don't seem to get some people don't get enthused about much of anything. I really don't know what would light up my life. It appears I'm hopeless if I don't have something to live for, but no one will kindly give me an easy way out.

She also accidentally pasted a webpage link into chat (then erased it) which looks like she's researching picture frames, so yeah, hard to tell how engaged she really was.

Sure, I could work through my thoughts about her with her but not sure I want to pay to do that. I have one more session left on my free trial, which will also be chat. It did go by fast. But now I know therapy is just going to be useless for me because I can't talk-communicate well at all and I feel like an idiot.

Talkspace support did ask my first therapist if I could rejoin and he said yes, and he has sent a message asking how he could help. I sent a pretty depressing text. I'll let you know if I get breathing exercises in response. I don't have any expectations.

I just want to turn my heart cold.
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#14
i've had 3 sessions with that Talkspace therapist which are a joke. I had told him I have difficulty speaking well and he said he was a patient fellow so I went. He dominates the conversation, talks about movies and news and even a tiny about about other problems. He told me he ranted at Talkspace not to send him female clients under the age of 30 anymore because he cannot relate or help them and their problems aren't serious. He suggests I garden, forgetting it's hard to just go and get supplies when I have no transportation. He too wished I would speak more and wondered why I signed up for Talkspace if I don't like to talk. Um, because the basic plan is text only? I didn't know my EAP included video sessions (6). When I do text him, he doesn't really help, just sends brief messages, like try to enjoy the rest of your evening, later.

I've gone through more Betterhelp counselors. One suggested I ask my main employer to switch me to part-time and see if that's less stressful. Um, not a good idea. These therapists just try to give out some advice having listened to 0.00001% of my story. I think I'm too pathetic and cannot be helped. I'm too abnormal.

I sent a message to a therapist outside of these platforms, using normal televideo wondering how can I know we will work well together, before I schedule a visit (and waste our time.). I explained my past problems. I wonder if she'll reply.

I am a failure at therapy it seems. I don't even know why my "goal" is. I just want to understand why I have always been so lame. I want to know what's wrong with me.

I'm not sure I like these solution focused therapies and they don't really try to get to know me or why some things so hard.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#15
i've had 3 sessions with that Talkspace therapist which are a joke. I had told him I have difficulty speaking well and he said he was a patient fellow so I went. He dominates the conversation, talks about movies and news and even a tiny about about other problems. He told me he ranted at Talkspace not to send him female clients under the age of 30 anymore because he cannot relate or help them and their problems aren't serious. He suggests I garden, forgetting it's hard to just go and get supplies when I have no transportation. He too wished I would speak more and wondered why I signed up for Talkspace if I don't like to talk. Um, because the basic plan is text only? I didn't know my EAP included video sessions (6). When I do text him, he doesn't really help, just sends brief messages, like try to enjoy the rest of your evening, later.

I've gone through more Betterhelp counselors. One suggested I ask my main employer to switch me to part-time and see if that's less stressful. Um, not a good idea. These therapists just try to give out some advice having listened to 0.00001% of my story. I think I'm too pathetic and cannot be helped. I'm too abnormal.

I sent a message to a therapist outside of these platforms, using normal televideo wondering how can I know we will work well together, before I schedule a visit (and waste our time.). I explained my past problems. I wonder if she'll reply.

I am a failure at therapy it seems. I don't even know why my "goal" is. I just want to understand why I have always been so lame. I want to know what's wrong with me.

I'm not sure I like these solution focused therapies and they don't really try to get to know me or why some things so hard.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. With internet came amateur therapists, peer advisors and then cons. How can anyone do therapy remotely. You can’t see body language and so many communication tools. Can’t get immediate feedback. How is that therapy? Therapy is not advice in my humble opinion. Sending us to websites is the same as telling a whiny child to go watch tv. Gets rid of us. I find internet services to be filled with quick wanna be pseudo experts. And as a result real life services are declining with telehealth. Then there is medication. Medicate us and move on. I am so scared about this. It is leaving us in the dark all alone.
 

SaFa61947

Kaiser Franz
#16
It's outrageous that a therapist would dissmiss your problems or say that "he doesn't relate" to your problems. They are being fucking paid to listen so. And the other therapist searching for frames while you talk... wow! Can't blame me for thinking what I think about psychology!

My experience with Betterhelp: made a free account then answered some questions and guess what, my problems were too heavy to be treated online, I had so search for a "real" therapist.

So, considering all together, it's a scam. Your problems aren't grave enough and mine are too grave. It's worthless. Why are they offering service anyway?
 

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#18
I have an awful confession in that I have also tried Calmerry, a newer online therapy platform. To get matched, you can talk to a matching agent about your preferences. Anyway, I got matched and have had 3 video sessions with this therapist. She is the in your face type. Making me feel bad for having negative thoughts, so many negative thoughts, and that I had shot down all her suggestions when I'm trying to give some insight into how I came to be this way and what my raw initial reaction is. No time to digest and come up with a sweet positive remarks that everything she says is a great idea and that I can do it! No. They didn't even feel like suggestions at the time and I didn't realize I was shooting them down definitively.

She suggested I might be on the spectrum (I didn't know how to answer if I respond appropriately to cues, didn't think that was something I would know?) and that I really should do face to face counseling (which I "shot down" because I don't have transportation and told I'm not practicing good self-care). I feel the most shattered from this counselor after opening up and being fricken honest and giving her a taste of my world. I'm not moving fast enough. She implied I'm not ready. She seemed pissed at me. Probably because I told Calmerry in one of their anonymous surveys that won't be shared with therapists, that a new session hadn't been scheduled even though it was discussed and I was feeling uncertain about nagging her, and they decided to share my feedback with her apparently. It could be my imagination from a broken mind that she's pissed and I need to reframe this positively.

I can never trust a therapist again and will not peruse it anymore unless I'm serious enough about changing on their schedule and jumping up and down at any and all ideas. If she had gotten to know me more, she'd know I have a pattern of rejecting an idea outright at first, thinking it over, and coming around but not if I'm being goaded into it, because I can't stand the thought of ever facing her again. I just feel rejected and criticized yet again, and what am I supposed to do about this idea now I'm on the spectrum that she left me with? I don't wish to exist I'm a fool in this world.

I honestly just feel too pathetic and now that it's confirmed. I tried to get help and told I can't be helped, more or less, when it's time, I know I tried.
 
Last edited:

nagisa

Staff Alumni
#19
I'm sorry you had bad experiences with these counseling services. :(

Your bad experience isn't because you are pathetic. Even if it is true that you struggle to communicate effectively, that does not make you pathetic. In fact I'm sure many people who seek out therapy struggle to do well with that, perhaps especially online (at least for some people). I know for me personally I always struggled with therapy.

I don't really want to say that one form of therapy is definitively better than another (text or video or in person) because I think that sort of thing is going to depend on the individuals involved. But regardless of which type you go with, let them know right away that you struggle to communicate but will try your best, and be ready to remind them of this if need be. It doesn't make you an idiot or pathetic. Should it be at all surprising that people with mental illness might struggle to communicate or explain things at times?

Also, please don't assume they are necessarily thinking something bad about you or don't care about you. For instance, the lady who posted the wrong link might not have actively been looking for picture frames when y'all were talking, she might just be a little disorganized or just forgot it was the last thing she had copied. It could have been an innocent mistake. I know it can be hard not to read into things (I do this too) but ultimately it can hurt you because you tell yourself things that are not necessarily true about how these other people feel about or relate to you, and it just feeds into your already negative self-talk.

I pray you don't give up on seeking help in some form, whether it be therapy or medication or a combination, or something else. Did that one therapist mention gardening because you said you liked something about that? If not gardening, is there something else you might like? You might not be able to go out in person and buy the supplies, but could you have the shipped to you from a website? Having something to do which you enjoy can be helpful. For some people that's gardening, for other people that's having a game night, doing jigsaw puzzles, trying new recipes, etc.

I know it's hard when you reach out and feel like things don't work out even when you are trying. It isn't your fault or even necessarily the fault of the therapists. I do think that online therapy can be difficult, but so can in person therapy. When you struggle to open up or communicate effectively things will probably need to go a bit slower. Try not to expect too much right away, and if you try therapy again, be super up front about this being a bit hard for you, but that you are there because you want to try, and ask them to please be patient.

If you feel like you need a combination of video/in-person and text/writing then let them know that. One idea might be that they could prepare a few things for you to write about before you next session (things they want to find out about you, things you want to address, etc.) and you could write something out and you guys could talk about it at the next session, since you already had some time to think about it a gather your thoughts. If you like the sound of something like that, ask them if you could try that.
 
Last edited:

shelled1

unbelonger
SF Supporter
#20
I'm sorry you had bad experiences with these counseling services. :(

Your bad experience isn't because you are pathetic. Even if it is true that you struggle to communicate effectively, that does not make you pathetic. In fact I'm sure many people who seek out therapy struggle to do well with that, perhaps especially online (at least for some people). I know for me personally I always struggled with therapy.

I don't really want to say that one form of therapy is definitively better than another (text or video or in person) because I think that sort of thing is going to depend on the individuals involved. But regardless of which type you go with, let them know right away that you struggle to communicate but will try your best, and be ready to remind them of this if need be. It doesn't make you an idiot or pathetic. Should it be at all surprising that people with mental illness might struggle to communicate or explain things at times?

Also, please don't assume they are necessarily thinking something bad about you or don't care about you. For instance, the lady who posted the wrong link might not have actively been looking for picture frames when y'all were talking, she might just be a little disorganized or just forgot it was the last thing she had copied. It could have been an innocent mistake. I know it can be hard not to read into things (I do this too) but ultimately it can hurt you because you tell yourself things that are not necessarily true about how these other people feel about or relate to you, and it just feeds into your already negative self-talk.

I pray you don't give up on seeking help in some form, whether it be therapy or medication or a combination, or something else. Did that one therapist mention gardening because you said you liked something about that? If not gardening, is there something else you might like? You might not be able to go out in person and buy the supplies, but could you have the shipped to you from a website? Having something to do which you enjoy can be helpful. For some people that's gardening, for other people that's having a game night, doing jigsaw puzzles, trying new recipes, etc.

I know it's hard when you reach out and feel like things don't work out even when you are trying. It isn't your fault or even necessarily the fault of the therapists. I do think that online therapy can be difficult, but so can in person therapy. When you struggle to open up or communicate effectively things will probably need to go a bit slower. Try not to expect too much right away, and if you try therapy again, be super up front about this being a bit hard for you, but that you are there because you want to try, and ask them to please be patient.

If you feel like you need a combination of video/in-person and text/writing then let them know that. One idea might be that they could prepare a few things for you to write about before you next session (things they want to find out about you, things you want to address, etc.) and you could write something out and you guys could talk about it at the next session, since you already had some time to think about it a gather your thoughts. If you like the sound of something like that, ask them if you could try that.
I have troubles because I don't find it easy to do what a lot of people take for granted. I think gardening would be great, but I don't have a car and also have tried container gardening without much success. I just wanted to grow stuff for my tortoise. Without having a car, I don't get to have the inspiration of being in an actual store and picking out my desired plant. It's also a lot more expensive to have bags of soil delivered. I don't mean to be negative, it's just that I haven't been able to figure it out!

I also have the problem with cooking, because key ingredients may be "out of stock" and I don't know exactly what I'm getting. If I was creative, it might be easier to improvise. Again, I don't mean to be negative. I am mostly a beginner so I need clear directions.

Reading a book tends to be the main recommendation. I don't mind, I just get uptight thinking how I'll forget the book a month after reading it most likely. It feels like a way to pass the time.

I've told some of the therapists that I don't talk much or well. I guess I need to remind them that I warned them, if they start mentioning I don't say much and why did I sign up for a placed called Talkspace if I don't talk?

I also haven't figured out the texting thing yet. Most of the time I just get brief, calming replies but it's not therapy I don't think. They may thank me for what I wrote, that it helps them to understand me better, but don't actually comment on the content. Then the conversation ends. I should have asked how other people use the text/messaging. Also I didn't want to scare them with a wall of text, knowing they don't get paid well on these platforms either. I could try writing stuff out. I've found the therapists tend to take the lead.

I've tried 3 platforms and several therapists and I have to start thinking the problem is me. These platforms may be good only for minor concerns.

Anyway, I guess I need to regroup, figure out how to hold on in the meantime because I get that finding a good fit may take quite a while. I just truly scared to be "negative" and show my true self to a therapist again. From this latest experience, I can feel how I will minimize things and even might light of them, just to show I'm not being too negative.
 

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