Frequently Asked Questions About Text Therapy

People have this writer stereotype: introverted, addicted to caffeine and alcohol, or simply insane. This image of a struggling and frustrated writer sometimes limits what we could be. Like everyone else, we should take care of our mental well-being. The stress that comes with being a writer is indeed real. Even so, having good mental health and healthy coping mechanisms can make your life and works better. 

Reading books and writing itself can be therapeutic. Numerous studies have supported the physical and emotional benefits of reading and writing. These include lowered blood pressure as well as reduced anxiety and stress levels. Our work as writers can be taxing and tedious at times. Bombarded by deadlines, drafts, and lack of inspiration can deeply affect and demotivate us. With this, how can you bring back the joy in writing and possibly improve your work? 

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Therapy is available to help us deal with all of these feelings and problems. For some, however, therapy can be a daunting endeavor. Sitting at a therapist’s office and opening up maybe a terrifying situation. In this case, traditional therapy may not be the best option for you.   

Despite this, other therapy methods are available for people who find traditional therapy ineffective or uncomfortable. Text therapy which involves messaging your therapist instead, is a good alternative. In this type of treatment, you will communicate to your therapist through chat or other messaging platforms. It may or may not involve call or virtual sessions, depending on your service plan. Like other methods, text therapy may be beneficial for people who prefer texting instead of real-time interaction. 

Text therapy is especially helpful for people who express themselves better through writing rather than speaking. However, there are also some downsides to this. Delay in responses from your therapist and misunderstanding due to lack of verbal and non-verbal cues are possible. Meanwhile, you may opt to do an initial consultation to determine if this therapy mode is good for you. 

Read on to learn about the frequently asked questions about text therapy. 

Is It OK To Text Your Therapist?

It depends on your arrangement with your therapist. It’s important to set ground rules and boundaries first with your therapist. Remember, this kind of texting should not replace treatment or therapy. Hence, it’s just an accessory to it. Most therapists allow texting, especially during emergencies.

Is Talkspace Real Therapy?  

Yes, Talkspace is an online text therapy platform with licensed therapists. Text therapy is a good option for people who do not have time for traditional treatment. Talkspace covers a broad range of mental health services. It offers unlimited therapy through subscriptions allowing you to text your therapist 24/7. However, although you can send messages to your therapist 24/7, they may not give immediate responses depending on time differences and working hours.

How Effective Is Talk Therapy?

A study showed that early talk therapy treatments could reduce long-term risks for severe mental health conditions. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, allows clients to discuss and voice their health professionals’ issues.

This form of treatment believes that mental disorders are mostly based on reactions to the environment. It treats such conditions through discussion, behavioral changes, and mindset changes. However, its effectiveness relies on the client’s willingness and honesty throughout the process, for the patient-therapist dynamic can affect the therapy’s success.

Does Online Therapy Work?

In general, yes. Research shows that online treatment is as effective as face-to-face therapy for depression. Online therapy offers a lot of benefits in terms of convenience, accessibility, and comfort.

Online therapy is ideal for:

  • People who prefer having therapy at home;
  • Those who want more time to process their responses;
  • People who express themselves better through writing;
  • Those who wish to notes of their therapy sessions;
  • People who feel pressured or judged during face-to-face sessions;
  • A greater sense of comfort and safety.

Why Is Online Therapy Bad?

Despite the advantages of online therapy, it has some limitations. In recent years, the information privacy of these sessions has been questioned. Make sure to use a site that has encryption. It is a must to protect your privacy. Clients must ensure a therapist’s licensing. This is to guarantee their qualification for mental health services.

Critical limitations of online therapy are the following:

  • You cannot receive a prescription. You will need to visit a medical doctor for one.
  • The tone of voice is hard to replace, and this can cue therapists on emotions.
  • Nonverbal cues are lost.

Can Therapy Be Harmful?

Therapy can be potentially harmful. For example, a client with past trauma will need to revisit these experiences to help the therapist understand their current needs. Therapy may make the client feel re-traumatized by the experience.  Meanwhile, therapists with a narrow treatment approach can also be harmful or ineffective as some people respond better to medication than talk therapies and vice versa. Continuously forcing one treatment, despite being ineffective on the client, will be harmful.

What Should I Not Tell My Therapist?

You can tell your therapist anything. However, do this at your own pace. You don’t need to share everything during the first session. Take your time until you feel comfortable sharing difficult experiences. Rest assured, therapists are required to keep your sessions confidential except if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a client is dangerous to themselves or someone. They may need to have a third party involved in this case.

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Is It OK To Hug My Therapist?

It depends on the therapist. Some will be perfectly OK with the idea, and some won’t.

Make sure to set boundaries and discuss this with your therapist. Therapists, in principle, are not allowed to initiate hugs due to ethical guidelines, as these can be easily misinterpreted. Hugs and other forms of touch may lead to softening and breaking boundaries between the client and therapist, which can be dangerous for either of them.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Therapist?

Here are some signs of a lousy therapist to watch out for:

Crossing Boundaries: if they make you uncomfortable, touch you inappropriately, make sexual advances, or ask to meet you outside therapy sessions.

  • Misaligned Or Poor Training: if they lack sufficient or specific training to address your issues and attempt to treat your problems
  • Dismissive: if they seem disinterested, do not provide actionable guidance, always reschedule, ignore what you tell them, and dismissive of your issues.
  • Controlling: if they try to control your behavior or enlist you to support their personal or business interests.

How Do You Know Therapy Is Working?

Your therapy is working if you start to feel better. You may observe a shift in mindset, better relationships with others, and altered diagnoses. Remember that progress looks different for everyone in terms of time and goals.

Therapy is a dynamic process. Goals can change over time. And the process is not linear. Sometimes, feeling worse can also be a sign of progress. Therapy requires clients to deal with issues – these changes can be challenging. Feel free to discuss with your therapist how progress can look like for you. They can define your goals and measures of success.

Is It Normal To Hate Your Therapist?

You may not always like your therapist. Anxiety and stress in the therapy process are expected, and you will not always agree with your therapist. Hating your therapist can be due to several factors such as the therapy process itself, the stress either you or the therapist is experiencing, or something else. Make sure to recognize the difference between short-term stress due to disagreements or working on specific issues and a long-term problem. Long-term issues may be due to a bad therapist. Or simply because you don’t get along with them.

Do Therapists Give Up On Clients?

In general, therapists do not “give up” on clients. However, the following are cases where a therapist will stop seeing a client when:

  • The client cannot pay for their services;
  • The therapist determines that the client’s issues are outside their training and license;
  • The therapist finds the client particularly difficult to work with;
  • There is no improvement on the client;
  • And when the therapist determines that the client is well enough to be on their own.

Do Therapists Cry In Therapy?

Therapists crying in therapy is not a rare occurrence. A study reported that over 70% of therapists have reported having cried in therapy sessions. Therapists described themselves, tearing up rather than sobbing. The study covered beginners to experienced and noted that older and more experienced therapists were more likely to cry.

This occurrence can be dependent on the dynamics of the client and the therapist. Some therapists feel comfortable doing so and feel it positively impacts the relationship through sincere empathy. However, some clients can find therapists crying off-putting or upsetting.

Do Therapists Fall In Love With Clients?

From an ethical and professional perspective, therapists don’t fall in love with clients.  Therapy is intrinsically an unbalanced relationship where the therapist focuses solely on the client. Their responses may be incredibly supportive and loving, but it’s from a therapist’s standpoint rather than a friend or relational partner. A brief attraction or infatuation may be possible, but therapists should not let it go further from that.

Can Therapists Tell When You Are Lying?

Yes, but it’s OK. It’s natural for people to present a better version of themselves. We also tend to see things from our perspective and remember them a bit differently each time. Therapists understand this and will wait until you’re ready to share honestly.

Conclusion 

There are many instances where we neglect our mental health as writers. Deadlines and other demands can carry us away and allow us to forget both our physical and psychological health. Regardless, we are still humans. Rest from work and other possible stressors in our life is important. Good results won’t come if we continue to burn ourselves out.

Many writers find comfort in words. Words are part of who we are – our work and most likely passion. Writing may also be the path on which we can heal ourselves. The therapeutic power of writing and reading are supported in numerous studies over the years. There are ways and methods on how to use writing to express and explore ourselves in therapy. It includes text therapy as an option.  

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Text therapy services offer a messaging platform that connects us with a therapist we can talk to asynchronously. You are free to message your therapist any time, but there can be a delay in the response. But rest assured that the therapist will get back to you with a thoughtful response to your problems.

Text therapy is for you if interacting with your therapist is a great hindrance in expressing yourself. This therapy can help reduce the anxieties of talking, which then allows for more comfort. Compared to traditional therapy, text therapy is usually more affordable and convenient. 

If you find yourself managing your stress and anxieties better, it’s an indicator that text therapy is effective. Although progress is measured differently from person to person, reaching goals set during therapy sessions is a good gauge. Of course, text therapy may not be for everyone. Feeling re-traumatized, harassed, or uncomfortable is a sign that you either have to change your therapist or treatment mode.   

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