Please, can we ignore the absolutely atrocious photography skills that have graced this blog over the past well…a long time? Even the lighter days outside can’t save me as our house is so dark and let’s face it…I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to taking photos.
OK, so we’ve got that out of the way. Hello! Today I have another collaboration post for you, this time from BetterHelp who provide online therapy anywhere, anytime. I was planning to do a “pros and cons” style post about counselling from my own experience anyway, so to work with BetterHelp was a plus! On with the pros and cons…
Pro: Speaking to someone impartial and professional
This is one of the main benefits of seeing a counsellor/therapist – you have the opportunity to speak to someone who is entirely impartial and cannot influence you in any way. They will listen, ask questions and suggest ideas to help you think things through with more clarity and to help you deal with situations.
As much as we’d love to talk about anything and everything with our loved ones, they carry certain prejudices and try as they might, they cannot help you with everything. A therapist is qualified to support you in airing out your problems and finding solutions or coping mechanisms.
Con: Travelling to see a therapist can be a pain
Sometimes you really don’t feel like travelling to see your therapist – and it can be even worse after a session and you don’t feel like driving home. I once had a session where I really let it all out and drove home in floods of tears. Not ideal as you’re speeding down the A27.
This is where online therapy can be of benefit – you can talk to a qualified counsellor online without having to leave your house. You are matched with a counsellor within 24 hours and you can choose whether to exchange messages by email, live chat or by phoning or video conferencing.
Online therapy won’t be for everyone, as some (like me) will prefer to chat face to face but it’s a great solution for those who would prefer another option. It opens up counselling to even more people and I genuinely believe that everyone should give counselling a try if they are financially able to do so. I pay £70 per month (1 session every fortnight), and it’s a lot more valuable than an ASOS haul.
Pro: You can organise your thoughts
Day to day, we are often too busy to really organise our thoughts. They can pile up and pile up until we break down from too much going on. By speaking to a therapist, you can vocalise your thoughts and feelings, unpacking them in a way that makes it much easier to process how you are really feeling.
This is helpful because sometimes we don’t really appreciate how we are feeling on a deeper level – we may feel stressed, but we can’t pinpoint the specific reasons for it. We may feel sad, but without delving into the reasons why it’s much more difficult to deal with the problems.
Con: It can be disruptive
There have definitely been times when I definitely didn’t feel like I needed to go to my session. I’ve had a great day/week/fortnight and going to therapy could potentially “ruin” that. I’d rather put my PJs on and hunker down for an evening of Netflix binging, feeling positive that everything is a-OK.
But not once have I ever regretted going to a therapy appointment.
Y’know why? Because it’s often those sessions I don’t feel like I need that I get the most value out of. I can talk through things that may have otherwise not come up, and get some perspective on stuff that may not have seemed as pressing.
Pro: Better mental health means better overall health
In all my years on this planet, I haven’t felt more positive about my mental health than I do now. That isn’t to say I don’t have battles to fight. I do have self-esteem issues, I do still get anxious and I still struggle with things I’ve discussed here on the blog in the past but by seeing a therapist, I am now able to look back over the past year and say with confidence that I am doing so much better. Not just mentally, but I have a more positive attitude to my physical health too.
I have a lot of work to do on that front, but I am taking positive steps to make changes which I don’t think I would have considered doing if I wasn’t dealing with my mental health head-on.
Con: You can get quite emotional
So as I’ve already mentioned, I can get quite (very) teary during and after a session. I do feel bad for Liam when I sometimes come home in floods of tears after therapy and he doesn’t know why or how to deal with it.
The reason for these tears can often be due to realisations – as you come to terms with how you feel and how it connects with your life overall. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary.