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They felt more like social outlets than mental health resources. Hokemeyer expresses major concern about sites like Blah Therapy, where "non-trained professionals [are] giving advice to other individuals.""There is just too much room for harm," he notes.
Confession time: I've been in talk therapy for more than 20 years (I started when I was 15—today I'm 37).
Nope, I'm not proud of that—it's vaguely embarrassing, this commitment I've made to worship at the altar of my most deep-seated issues.
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.
I keep getting sucked into sketchy, go-nowhere maybe-relationships. "Again, I wait for the helpful and compassionate responses to roll in. It's pretty unique in its approach—in addition to offering the "completely anonymous" services of a real therapist for $25 ("No therapist will know who you are—no one close to you will know you're getting therapy"), the site has a "venting/listening" private chat function that pairs up anonymous strangers who want to vent with strangers who want to listen. Because, as the site explains, "sharing and connecting with other strangers who are going through a struggles just like you [sic] provides great consolation to anyone in need of healing or a friend."I'm eager to try the anonymous venting thing, because spilling my secrets to some rando who gets off on "listening" sounds, admittedly, awesome.
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.
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 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.