My Experience With Therapy in Grad School

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I have written quite a few pieces where I emphasize the importance of therapy, especially in grad school. In fact, like 50% of my posts in my “Mindfulness and Meditation” section contain something about therapy. Today, I want to share a little bit of my experience using Talkspace.com and the pros and cons of this platform.

therapy in grad school

My experience with therapy in Grad School

I started therapy March of last year. I remember because quarantine hadn’t started yet and that was something my therapist brought up later. At first, it was mostly just texting back and forth. I preferred this method because I am a shy person, and talking about my feelings is hard to do. It was also fairly convenient because I could text my therapist at any time during the day or night. This was definitely a perk of using the app.

After about 3 months of texting, my therapist asked if I would prefer to do a 1 hour, live session, instead of texting. Little ol’ anxious Ben said no, at first, because this made me feel uncomfortable. My therapist understood and was still really supportive. It wasn’t until last fall that I decided to do live sessions.

Live Sessions

Live sessions are amazing. You really get to cover a ton of information and learn so much about yourself. It also was a one and done kind of thing, better than texting about my feeling every night. I had a 1 hour session which covered literally everything on this blog. I mostly dealt with understanding my feelings, coping with anxiety, and practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Check out this article on the benefits of this method (link here). Needless to say, Talkspace was well worth it.

What I Didn’t Like about Therapy in Grad School

Of course there were some things that I didn’t like about doing online therapy, mostly the texting portion. If you get the basic plan on any of these online therapies, you may just get texting. I think BetterHelp has a better plan than Talkspace, but I am not sure. If you have tried BetterHelp, let me know your experience with that one. The live sessions are the best attribute of the app but their platform isn’t that good and sometimes the video chat doesn’t work. This can be bad if you desperately need a therapy session and the technology doesn’t allow for that to happen.

What I really Liked about Online Therapy

I think there are more pros than cons when it came to my experience with Talkspace. Yes, I posted some things I didn’t like, but everything has things you don’t like. I absolutely loved my time doing therapy. My therapist was so kind and helped me walk through all of my fears, anxieties, and mental strains. She was able to really dive deep into who I am and get to know me on a personal level. She helped me overcome quite a few things such as depression and anxiety so I can live a normal life. In fact, I am still in a very positive place now ever since therapy ended.

I ended my therapy sessions in the spring of 2021, after almost of year of seeing my therapist. My therapist only wanted to see me once a month to check in and that did not occur as she left Talkspace because they didn’t pay enough. It was fine with me because I felt like a new person. Therapy was an amazing decision and I highly recommend it.

therapy in grad school

Pros and Cons of Doing Online Therapy

Pros

  1. Super easy and convenient. You can text your therapist at any time during the day
  2. You get to have a one-on -one session with them ponce a week, for an hour
  3. It’s very cheap and may be covered by insurance
  4. The therapists are amazing
  5. They give you recommendations for therapists based on what you are having trouble with
  6. It actually works
  7. They give you weekly updates and reports
  8. Often covered by colleges

Cons

  1. You only get 5 text messages per week from your therapist.
  2. Their more expensive option provides more, but is often not really enough if you need immediate help.
  3. Not all insurance helps, so you will be paying out of pocket.
  4. Their platform doesn’t work well with video chats sometimes.
  5. They don’t pay their therapists that much so some end up leaving.

So Will it really help you?

Therapy will most definitely help you. Though, you have to find something that fits best with you. For doing therapy in grad school, being able to just zoom meet was a blessing. In grad school, it might be inconvenient to drive to a therapist and have an hour session in between work. Doing these online sessions gives you the freedom of doing therapy literally anywhere.

I know for a fact that therapy helped me overcome quite a few things in grad school. I am certain that it can help you or at least get you on the right track to get better. Therapy was probably the best thing I did to deal with the stresses of grad school as well as the stresses of life.

Final Thought

If you are considering therapy, don’t rule out online therapy. There are so many therapy platforms online that I would say are just as good as regular session. The top three that I would suggest would be 1) Talkspace 2) BetterHelp and 3) Online-Therapy. Whichever you choose, I am sure that it will help significantly. If you are in grad school, or just in a stressful job, taking the time to get help, professionally, can change your life.

If you have experience using online therapy platforms, comment below. I would love to read about your experience. Also, if you are still on the fence about doing therapy, whether in person or online, please send me an email at benswaringen@yahoo.com. I would love to talk with you and we can figure out what is best. You can also email me for any questions related to grad school or therapy. As always, I hope you all have a wonderful day/week/month/year and I will see you in the next blog.

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