Online counseling may not be as widely recognized as your traditional in-person counseling, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t significant or effective. More and more people are discovering just how beneficial online therapy is—as it enables you to attend your sessions virtually, making it an exceptionally convenient and ingenuous approach. Here’s what I’m getting at: if you’re looking into to therapy, but you just haven’t been able to say “yes” because of a hectic schedule or nervous reservations, look no further. Pause no further. Hesitate no further. Online counseling is the solution to your problems; and you owe it to yourself to start your journey asap. Now, I know you can’t just snap your fingers and magically make this happen—it’ll take a little bit of time to find the right counselor. So, until then, here are some wise words from licensed counselors to keep you motivated and excited for what’s to come:
1) Establish healthy boundaries.
The first pointer, as offered by licensed clinical social worker Jennifer Fitzpatrick, is a key to fostering healthy relationships: “My most important piece of advice would be to establish and maintain boundaries in every relationship,” Fitzpatrick explains. “Boundaries keep you both physically and mentally healthy. Make sure you have them with your partner, your parents, your kids, your friends, and in your business relationships.”
2) Choose to show up.
Licensed Psychologist Jisun Fisher wants you to realize that you’re in charge of the quality of your life: “I believe all individuals are complete and resourceful, and many times we benefit from the allowed space to seek our own empowerment. If I had to give one major piece of advice, it would be to understand that we have a choice in how we show up; our life quality is determined by our mindset and attitude, and evident in the daily choices that we make.”
3) Ask for help.
Relationship Expert and Dual Licensed Mental Health Professional Kryss Shane one piece of advice is about utilizing your support system. Doing so won’t just benefit you, but those who you empower as well, as explained by Shane: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Those who do the most helping give a gift to those they ask for help,” she says. “It can be difficult to ask when you’re used to giving, but it gives those who have been given the opportunity to give back.”
4) Rethink your thoughts.
“Don’t take your thoughts so seriously,” Jenny Avila, licensed clinical social worker, puts simply. “Almost everything that we think during the course of the day is a belief, not a fact. We walk around suffering immense emotional distress because of these thoughts and often, acting on these beliefs that make our lives worse. For example, someone might say, my boss is criticizing me because he thinks I’m doing a terrible job. Unless your boss has actually said the words, “you are doing a terrible job,” you are acting on a belief, not a fact. Often, this is a story that we’ve created in our minds about what someone else thinks about us or about our value or self-worth. You can get so much freedom from this kind of mental suffering by learning to observe and identify your thoughts, rather than simply participating in them.
5) Stop worrying about what others think.
Dr. Tammy Hunter’s piece of advice is a simple one: “The advice I would give to everyone is to stop worrying about what other’s think of you. Day after day, client after client, this seems to be a common anxiety. Seems as if people cannot live their lives to the fullest due to worry.” Though this is easier said than done, Hunter says that casting away these worries will prove to greatly improve your life.
6) Don’t fuel the fire.
Nationally Certified School Psychologist Izzy Kalman hopes to save you a lot of trouble and ill will by offering this wisdom: “If there is someone in your life who is constantly doing to you what upsets you, stop getting angry. You are getting angry because you want them to stop,” he explains. “However, when you get angry, you are actually making them continue to do it!”
7) Trust the process.
And finally, when you do start your therapy journey, trust the process. “When you’re doing therapy, it doesn’t always feel great, and you don’t often see immediate results. It can feel tedious and exhausting at times. However, in my 10 years of working in mental health in a variety of settings, I have seen the power therapy has when that a-ha moment hits and life starts changing for the better,” Mallory Grimste, licensed clinical social worker, explains. “It can be scary to get better because it is so unknown—though it can also be oh-so-rewarding!”