Given the vast array of available information, from journal articles to TED talks, it is almost entirely possible to get therapy all by ourselves, for ourselves and with ourselves. Beginning with the most basic terms, we can search for our symptoms: sleeplessness, anxiety, decreased sex drive, increased frustration, depression, etc. and receive results containing probable diagnoses and the websites that explain them. Next, we proceed to YouTube to watch presentations, lectures and even actual therapy sessions. Meanwhile, the handy search engines, using BOSSEM (Black Ops Spooky Search Engine Magic) will populate the screen’s advertising space with pharmaceutical ads directing our attention to the latest drugs usually named something with a Z or an X because, well, this. In addition to prescriptions, we may get a book suggestion which leads us to book review sites where reviewers mention the author’s must-see TED talk.
“Wow,” we conclude, “this TED talker really knows his/her stuff about situations like mine. That is exactly how I feel, how my relationship has broken down, how my self-esteem has tanked. My kids don’t listen to me either and my career has stalled and I need to have better posture. I feel vulnerable and anxious and I am distracted by screens and jacked up on gluten! I may need therapy!”
So what about therapy? Well, as an actual therapist I would lose my mental health practitioner card if I didn’t suggest that you don’t at least consider seeing a therapist when feeling overwhelmed. The hiccup is this, my dear self-evaluated, self-diagnosed and self-determined treatment plan person, there is simply no replacement for the relationship and the room and the experience of being listened to in real time by a therapist with training and experience.
I agree, there are some really wonderful websites offering very helpful information. Like this one and this one and many, many others. The human brain is a miraculous and mysterious place and in recent years there have been remarkable advances in the medical management of mental health diagnoses. We have medicines which, when taken as prescribed (ask your doctor), will affect brain chemistry so as to alleviate symptoms and allow for improvement.
In conclusion, I strongly suggest that we all pursue mental health and mental healing using all of the sites, books, videos and resources on the planet. I suggest that we seek out information about possible interventions and protocols and theories. I suggest that we become active engaged consumers of mental health information and then when it is time to find a therapist, maybe here,
Or even my very own website.
We will come prepared to create a productive, dynamic and authentic relationship that will result in greater self-awareness and ultimately the easing of the symptoms that sent us running to the internet in the first place.