About a year ago, I saw an ad on Facebook for something called BetterHelp. I stopped scrolling, because some girl was talking, and all the comments were about how soothing and beautiful her voice was. This, I had to hear. I didn’t have my sound up, so I clicked and replayed it. Meh…her voice was cool, I guess. I didn’t find it as overwhelmingly pleasing as the folks in the comments, but whatever…it made me stop scrolling.
Turns out, BetterHelp is an online network of therapists you can get “matched” with, then pay a flat rate for therapy services and full access to your practitioner. Hmmm. Online therapy? I think no. Anonymity, though. Maybe yes. Could that work? Probably no. Did I click? Yes.
Who needs therapy? You. Everyone one of us. As a matter of fact, offer to forgive my college loan debt if you like, but if you want to talk free therapy for life, I’m listening. I followed the link, got matched up with a therapist, and I have LOVED it. (That sounded like a commercial for Farmers Only Dot Com or something. Eeek.)
What’s therapy like? Ever had a matted, tangled spot in your hair? It’s like having someone look at the spot without judgment, hear you out on how it got there, then help you pull it apart strand by strand until your hair is all sleek, smooth, and rat-free. Sometimes you have to analyze the comb you’ve been using or why you went to sleep with gum in your mouth that got you into this mess. Sometimes you hear about how to better manage your hair, how chemicals and humidity can jack it up, and how you’ve been thinking about hair care all wrong. You even learn that your hairball might not even be your own fault and just thrust upon you by life in general. Does that make sense?
Someone tells you all that? No, but sort of. A therapist worth his salt will ask you hard questions, prompt you to explore your thoughts and feels deeper, and give you homework. They facilitate, and you do the work for yourself. You’ll be surprised at what comes out of your own mouth when you take the time to really listen. You’ll marvel at how the twists and turns of your life led you to the spot you’re in right now when you take the time to navigate all those pathways. A therapist will lead you.
Isn’t therapy for crazy people? Umm, yes. I mean, no, of course not. We’ve all got baggage, beefs, and bad habits. Every one of us has sorrows, regrets, and what ifs. Some of even screw up, fail, and crash. We hold grudges, harbor resentment, or feel inadequate. Maybe you’re just busy trying to balance life, get everything right, and be the best you can be. An adjustment here, fine tune there, tweak over here…that could be all you need. We’re all mad here.
How do you even know what to say? This isn’t really a problem for me, because I think about EVERYTHING, so I have plenty I can come up with. I’m good at overthinking, too, which is an added bonus. If you don’t know where to start or what to say, though, you just have to start somewhere. Just talk. Ask the therapist to ask you questions. Let it all go, and don’t hold back. I think of therapy as a privilege – like giving yourself the gift of awareness and improvement – so I never want to squander it with a half-ass effort. Go all in.
Doesn’t this open up old wounds? It certainly can, it will, and it does…but how is keeping them pent up inside working for you? How’s it going living with all that guilt? What are your dreams made of? Is it cool living with anxiety, fear, or resentment. Is all that baggage heavy? Why do you keep wrestling with those questions. Stir up all those feels, Friend, and start healing.
I’ve learned a lot. I’m better than I was. I have more clarity. Stop thinking about it, ignore any stigma you think might be attached to getting help, and go for it. Find a therapist locally, or use an online practitioner like I do. If you would take ibuprofen for a headache or see a doctor about your high blood pressure, why wouldn’t you visit with a therapist to improve your mental health? Therapy: everybody needs it.