Does online advice really work?

My journey with therapy has been a long one, and I’m not even close to being finished. For about ten years, I’ve been having face-to-face therapy. At first, it was on the NHS, I was 16 and dealing with anxiety and an eating disorder. It was hard, but the best thing I could have done was to go. It dealt with my issues there and then rather than putting them off for another few years, possibly ending up dead.

A few weeks later, my NHS funding stopped. Fun fact, eight weeks is not enough time to pour your heart out to a stranger. I barely trusted the person I spoke to every week, so having to talk to someone about all my personal feelings very quickly did not work for me. So, I began seeing a new counsellor, therapist or whatever you know them as. The important thing was I spoke to someone every week about everything that bothered me. From family issues to friendship groups, nothing was off-limits.

The main thing that I enjoyed about therapy was talking to someone that I didn’t have to feel guilty about talking. That sentence sounded complicated but let me break it down for you. When I talk to my friends about how I feel, I always felt like a burden. I felt like they wouldn’t want to answer my texts because they felt like I was always rambling to them. I know that’s how they would never feel, but I could never shake that feeling. So, knowing that I was paying someone for their time felt better, it didn’t feel like I was wasting their time.

Then I moved to a new house, but my brain hadn’t changed. A whole new number of worries came with the next chapter of my life; living with someone that hadn’t lived with me properly, moving out of my family home, dealing with new people and change which isn’t my forte. So, I got a new counsellor, one that dealt with the things that I was going through but when my needs changed so did the things I needed from my counsellor.

I needed more time, I needed someone that I could message whenever. I couldn’t find anything, but then I found online counselling. I’m into my first few sessions and thought I would tell everyone about my experience so far. That way if anyone else needs support this is a way, they could get it. For the UK, the average counsellor costs between £30 and £50. It costs the lower end of that scale, and you can message your counsellor at any point. Granted they may not reply at some points, even therapists need to sleep. However, I find the notion of being able to message someone at 4am, rather than sit alone and cry … helpful.

Have you tried online counselling? Do you find it helpful?

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