Online therapy

These days online therapy is catching up as an easy alternative to in person therapy. People in need are able to have instant access to help and guidance from a certified practitioner via various online platforms- chatting, text messaging, audio and video calls. Most of these are paid options and require valid logins to filter out the serious ones from those who are still making up their mind about whether or not to get help. Although costing strategies vary from affordable monthly memberships to expensive per call charges, it still being a new market most of these options are much cheaper than going for in person therapy. Obviously nothing can replace a person sitting right next to you, listening and chatting with you about your life. However, with therapy one of the most basic issues faced by help seekers is finding the right therapist or rather making the right connection. To avoid disappointment, some preliminary shopping is inevitable and online therapy makes that really easy.

In addition to online therapists, some other quick and popular umbrella methods for support are also sprouting on the side- venting and listening. This caught my attention on a day when I was feeling low. Something was bothering me and I really needed to talk right away. None of my friends and family were available at that moment. Frustrated I was browsing online for help when I came across the app- 7 cups of tea. Having tea with friends and family being one of my favorite pleasurable activities and 7 being my favorite no, I was immediately drawn to check it out. I had also recently finished reading the book Three cups of tea and I wondered if there was a connection if any. There wasn't. But soon I found myself intrigued with various features of the app, Venting and Listening being the first.

As opposed to serious online therapy options, here a random user like you and me can just choose to be a venter or a listener anonymously. It depends upon what you feel like doing. I chose to vent and saw a listener "waiting". That was a really good feeling. Some stranger waiting to serve to listen to whatever you had to say- very heart warming! I decided to give it a go. It was ok. Nothing spectacular but talking stuff out did feel good and it dint really matter who was listening. That was interesting. It may have been different if I was looking for a 'solution' to a 'problem' and I needed serious advice. But here all I needed to do was to vent. It was exactly how easily I would blurt out my frustration to the cashier about how the seven hundred dollars I spent today on my car were totally unexpected expenditure for the month and she would just smile and nod in acknowledgement.

I also tried the listener option later to just check out the app. For the most part it was a very fulfilling experience. Getting a 'thanks' or a smiley at the end of a chat was certainly very rewarding. The euphoric feeling of doing a good deed and then the justified narcissism while resonating with Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote about- "To laugh often and much..." was definitely worth a shot. But there were some issues. Some venters went on complaining in a never ending cycle and it was difficult to go on and show support not knowing how or when to stop. Also, after listening in a few sessions I discovered that some venters were faking problems and just having fun. Sometimes it was the same venter posing as different people. Filtering out people with serious needs from those who were just long time complainers or fake was definitely an issue.

I also tried Blah Therapy after that and faced similar issues. But overall I was enthralled at the idea of online listening and venting. At the least, it could lift up your mood. At most, it could be a life saver!