08-Jan-2020 11:59 by 9 Comments


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.

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 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.THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)I end up chatting with "Special-Reward" about Life Stuff—our jobs, the site, the few "creeps" she's encountered there—for about 45 minutes.While my new, Colorado-based buddy is certainly no therapist, it feels sweet and genuine, making a connection with a stranger like this.Could spilling my guts to faceless strangers on an online message board or chat room possibly compare to "real" therapy? Paul Hokemeyer, a NYC-based addictions and family therapist, is dubious.

"Therapy that changes people's lives is a nuanced process," he says.

My Therapy Couch rather charmingly calls itself a " social counseling site." So ...

it's like Facebook had a baby with a virtual shrink's office! Like Talktala, MTC features free forums where users can vent about their issues, but if you want real therapeutic guidance (aka "Direct Counseling") from a professional, you'll need to cough up some cash.

Frankly, all those aforementioned deep-seated issues are still very much alive and kicking, therapy be damned.

So when I heard about free "Internet therapy" websites, I was curious.

THE THERAPY SITE: is the slickest of the three sites I tried.

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