THE THERAPY SITE: is the slickest of the three sites I tried.
It has the most appealing design, and it helpfully provides sympathetic-looking photos of its roster of online therapists waiting, with bated breath, to help me. For "everyone [to] have real-time, simple, and affordable access to professional advice whenever and wherever we need it."Talktala offers paid online support from legit online therapists—it costs for an "initial help" session; for a one-on-one "chat for a week" service in which you get to, yes, e-chat with a therapist one-on-one for a week; and for a 30-minute one-on-one video session with a therapist of your choosing.
I also write, "I just moved 3,000 miles across the country, back to my hometown, in the dead of winter on the East Coast. I've had depression since I was 16 (I'm in my late 30s now) and seem to forget that it doesn't just magically go away [following a relocation]."THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)An hour goes by. So I jump onto another board (one that an actual therapist is supposed to frequent!
) and try posting in the "Relationships & Family" section instead.
When she asks my age, however, I balk—it seems like Blah Therapy might be aimed at far younger folks than me.
Overall, my experiences on the sites were intriguing but not mind-blowing—none of the free forums felt equipped to help me dive into real issues.
I return a few days later, and finally I have a successful chat session with a member named "Special-Reward." I discover, after blabbing—again—about feeling isolated post-move, that my new friend is female, and all of 19. When I express frustration about not having tons of friends in my hometown, she commiserates, "I'm really shy too.
She says she's been frequenting the site for about a week because participating in the chats, as both a listener and a venter, helps her. But I think if you just push yourself a little bit to find people with similar interests, it will be beneficial." She also suggests a couple sites where I might find likeminded people (and not4dating).
Before jumping in, I must confront a slightly scary disclaimer: "Venting to a stranger can be incredibly dangerous if you are at a very mentally sensitive state.
By entering the chat, you understand that Blah Therapy is not liable for any advice given."The first time I try to vent, to a "listener" called "Large-Capacity Mountain," I find it awkward—I can't tell if he/she/it is waiting for me to start, or if I should wait for an introduction, or what.
After I post a brief monologue about feeling isolated, I can see that my new buddy is typing a response, but then my Internet connection drops off before I can catch a reply.
Still, as our back-and-forth winds down, I feel totally underwhelmed. Hokemeyer suggested, my Talktala experience feels like Self-Reflection Lite—it's not in-depth enough to provide any real insight.
Not for me, anyway—a therapy newbie might find Regina's advice illuminating.