I Tried Online Therapy for 30 Days and This is What Happened

Online therapy can be a great tool for busy moms.

For the past few months, I’ve been dealing with depression, despite being on anti-depressants.  I assumed it was triggered by the chronic pain I have been experiencing since developing scar tissue adhesions following my hysterectomy for endometriosis. Having suffered from depression off and on since being diagnosed with postpartum depression many years ago, I didn’t want to let it get out of control.  So I thought it was time to try out cognitive behavioral therapy via Online-Therapy.com.

Here’s a look at what my experience was like with online therapy.
I tried Online Therapy for 30 Days and this is what happened
*This is NOT a sponsored post but it does contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy


How Does Online Cognitive Behavior Therapy Work?

I have tried online therapy before, in the form of online talk therapy.  That means that I’ve video chatted with a licensed therapist to discuss my thoughts and feelings.  I’ve also done talk therapy in person, so online talk therapy wasn’t much different from that, aside from the convenience of it. 

But cognitive behavior therapy at online-therapy.com is a completely different world.  First of all, it’s not talk therapy.  It’s a series of activities that you do in order to help reprogram your brain.  The idea being that if you can change your way of thinking, you can change your behaviors and ultimately, your mood.

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Secondly, you do it all at your own pace.  I decided to be more aggressive and try to complete all the sections in 30 days.  This meant that I was logging on and completing at least one worksheet every couple of days.  But there is no timeline, no deadlines, no schedules, no specific hours of availability.  You can complete a worksheet in the middle of the night if you want to! 

And finally, while you’re doing it all on your own, you’re never actually alone.  You’re assigned one therapist to work with you throughout the entire process.  As you complete sections and worksheets, your therapist will leave comments about what you’ve written.  You can schedule a weekly live chat and you can email your therapist whenever you need to. Over the 30 days, I really did develop a bond with my therapist and looked forward to connecting with her during the weekly chats.

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The Benefits of Working Solo

I’ve always been better working at my own pace.  Some days I would complete an entire section with it’s corresponding worksheets, and other days I would just do part of a section and one worksheet.  And while the worksheets are designed for self-reflection, I always looked forward to getting that notification that my therapist had responded to my answers.  When it was time for our live chat session, I couldn’t wait to talk to her about some of the things we had worked on.  She always had great input and feedback about the things I’d written in my worksheets.

While it was reassuring that my therapist was always there for me, I also felt empowered that I was taking control of my own thoughts and emotions.  The worksheets really made me think.  I was responsible for examining my own negative behaviors and how I responded to certain triggers.  Taking ownership of my reactions to common situations made me want to change my behaviors even more. 

Towards the last few sections, I became much more efficient at recognizing my negative thoughts and behaviors and how to replace them with positive ones, or healthier negative ones.  At the time, I found some of the worksheets to be repetitive, but now I see that was done on purpose.  Having to recall certain thoughts and behaviors over and over meant finding out which ones affected me the most. 

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The Online Therapy Toolbox

The sections and worksheets are just one part of the cognitive behavior therapy process.  In order to get the most out of therapy, I needed to make some life changes. 

Yoga and meditation was something I have been wanting to incorporate into my daily life for a while now.  In the online therapy toolbox, there are a series of yoga videos that I can access at any time, and they include both short workouts and longer ones.  

The online journal was another great tool available 24/7.  As a writer, journaling has been something I’ve started and stopped several times throughout my life.  But the online therapy journal isn’t just a blank page for me to write in all my thoughts, instead there were specific questions I needed to answer each day to get me thinking about how I wanted to feel. This made it easy for me to set goals each morning and be accountable for achieving those goals each evening.  

The action plan was a place where I was really accountable for making progress.  As I went through the online therapy course, I scheduled specific activities to help me get better.  Things like yoga, exercise, socializing events and health appointments.  As I completed each activity on my action plan, I checked off that it was done and it was added to my “ta-da” list (instead of a to-do list).  Seeing all the actions I had completed towards improving my mental health gave me a sense of accomplishment. 

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Getting a Diagnosis

As I go through and complete the worksheets, my therapist reads all of my answers.  She leaves a comment within 24 hours and I can reply if I want to.  She was able to divulge certain things from my answers that I didn’t immediately see.  Together, we came to the conclusion that I was suffering from some trauma related to my hysterectomy.  I realized that I hadn’t grieved for the loss of my uterus in the right way and therefore, every time I felt pelvic pain, I was reminded of that loss. 

Following that revelation, I began to work on activities to help me grieve.  I started to write about the loss and allow myself to feel the emptiness, even cry about it.  I now have an answer as to why the pain causes me to be depressed, and I have an action plan in place on how to replace that depression with something more positive. 

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Was 30 Days of Therapy Enough?

The thing about cognitive behavior therapy is that it’s not something someone else does for you.  It’s something you learn to do yourself.  It’s not like getting a massage, it’s more like learning how to drive.  Once you learn how to change your thinking, it’s something you need to continue to do regularly.  And the more you practice, the better and more confident you will get. 

Online-therapy.com offers a course in cognitive behavior therapy.  How long it takes you to complete the course is up to you. I managed to complete the entire course in 30 days but that doesn’t signal the end of my therapy.  I now need to take everything I’ve learned and put into practice in my every day life. 

Others may need longer than 30 days to complete the course and may want additional therapist support along the way.  Thankfully, sessions are billed monthly and you can stop at any time with the click of one button. And you’ll still have access to your toolbox even after the subscription ends, so you can continue with the yoga and meditation, journal entries and action plan. 

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In Conclusion

This was the right form of therapy for me because I find it easier to write out my emotions than to voice them.  I was also in a place where I wanted to get better, and I wanted to take ownership of my own mind and moods.  Those things were key to getting the most out of the online therapy experience. 

If you’re not quite ready to do it on your own, consider the package that allows two live chats a week instead of one, so that you have that additional support.  Online-therapy.com costs less than traditional talk therapy because you’re not paying for someone else’s time by the hour.  I put off doing it for a long time because of the cost associated with it.  But eventually I needed to prioritize my own mental health, no matter the cost. 

So whatever your struggle is, I urge you to consider this option.  You may not find a diagnosis or the root cause of your mental health issues in just 30 days, and you definitely don’t need to.  For many people, mental health disorders are a lifelong battle.  You may need to do multiple rounds of therapy or try a combination of treatment options to find relief.  But if you’re interested in learning how to take control of your own mind and moods, then cognitive behavior therapy might be for you. 

Click here to sign up for Online-Therapy.com and get 20% off your first month.

How to Start Blogging about Postpartum Depression

Writing about scary thoughts and feelings has several great benefits for a mother struggling from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.

And what better outlet than to start blogging about postpartum depression?  Thanks to modern technology it is easier to start a blog now, than ever before.  And with all the choices available, you can choose whether you’d like to remain private or whether you’d like your voice to be heard around the world.

Blogging about postpartum depression not only has benefits for a suffering mother.  It’s also an excellent way to help raise awareness about maternal mental health and break down the stigma that exists around it.  The more women who are speaking up about postpartum depression and other mood disorders following childbirth, the better.

If you’re interested in learning how to start your own mental health blog and speak your truth, here is a quick tutorial on how to start blogging about postpartum depression. 
How to Start Blogging About Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Shortly after I was officially diagnosed with postpartum depression, my husband, toddler, infant and I packed up all our belongings and moved 900 kms away from our hometown.  We left behind all our friends and family and had no idea how difficult our lives would be over the next few years.

If there is one thing that a woman with postpartum depression desperately needs, it’s a good support system… and I just didn’t have one. 

I moved to a small town where I knew no one, had no job or prospect of one, had no babysitters or daycare arrangements and was a good three hour drive from a major city.  Isolated and alone, my postpartum depression grew worse with each passing day.  But there was one thing I knew that I could do, even if I had no one to talk to.  I could write about it. 

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That’s how I started blogging about postpartum depression.

I started my first blog using a free Blogger account because I had no idea what I was doing.  I wasn’t thinking about making money or getting followers – I just wanted to write about what I was feeling and share my story.

At first, I didn’t write about postpartum depression.  I needed a way to work up to that.  I wrote about other random things that my kids did or things I learned along my parenting journey.  Eventually, I got a new job and made some new friends and I started to feel more confident.

So one day, I sat down at my computer and I poured out my story.  100 edits later, I published it to my blogger account and shared it on Facebook for all to see.

I was overwhelmed by the response.  I started to get messages, both from close friends offering words of encouragement and support, and from contacts whom I barely knew, confiding in me about their own struggle with postpartum depression.  One of my new friends in my new town saw me the next day and told me that she cried reading my story and felt so much closer to me, knowing that we shared a similar experience.

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That feeling of empowerment has stuck with me for years.

After that blog post, I didn’t feel the need to write anymore.  Once I said my piece and shared what was bottled up inside of me, I felt better.  Over the next few years, I focused on my new career, moved a couple more times, and had another baby.  I remembered to take care of myself and kept busy and distracted.  All the while, the postpartum depression started to become a bad memory.

A couple years ago, I began to suffer badly from a condition called endometriosis.  I wrote more about my battle with it here.  The chronic pain caused a major relapse of my postpartum depression symptoms and I needed anti-depressants just to function.  It was at this point that I realized – postpartum depression never really goes away.

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While researching information about endometriosis, I came across a lot of information about maternal mental health.  In all the years since I first suffered from postpartum depression, there didn’t seem to be any forward progress on the way women were treated or how it was talked about.  There was still so much stigma and too many women dying or hiding their feelings.  I just knew that I had to do something about that.

And so I began Running in Triangles.  I knew that I wanted to start blogging about postpartum depression again but I put some more effort and forethought into what kind of site I wanted.  This time, it wasn’t just about needing an outlet for my own feelings – it was about getting information and resources to the women who needed it the most.

If you would like to start blogging about postpartum depression, here’s what I recommend you do:

Step 1: Write Your Blog Posts

Yes, that’s right, start writing your blog posts before you even purchase your domain name.  Having a few blog posts ready to publish as soon as your blog is active means a little less pressure on yourself to come up with new content regularly.  It will also give your readers a few posts to read right away.  Write them out using Microsoft Word or Google Docs so that you can easily cut and paste them once you’ve launched your blog.

Start by writing some sort of introduction about yourself.  Tell your story – whether in depth or just a brief summary for now.  But don’t be afraid to make it known that you are writing about your experience with postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis and/or whatever else ails you.

Think of your blog as a safe space.  Share as many or as few details about yourself as you like.  You can write under a “pen name” instead of using your own, or simply use your first name only.  Blogging about postpartum depression can make a person feel vulnerable and requires a certain level of openness.  Writing out what you want to say BEFORE launching a blog can help you to get comfortable with that.

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Step 2: Purchase Web Hosting

A web hosting service is like your blog’s engine and it keeps everything running smoothly.  Running in Triangles is hosted by Siteground, and I would definitely recommend it!  The odd time I needed technical support, they were so helpful and quick to respond.

Through your web host, you will also be able to choose your own domain (your website’s name), get your own e-mail address (such as yourname@yourblog.com) and install WordPress (Siteground now makes it easier than ever to install WordPress).

Step 3: Set up WordPress

WordPress.org is a self-hosted blogging platform.  It’s the exterior of your blog and the place where you publish content and make it look pretty.

If you’re computer illiterate and would prefer something all-in-one that’s already set up for you, and requires very little maintenance, then a basic platform like WordPress.com* or Blogger will work.  You don’t need to purchase additional web hosting, but you will also be very limited in what you can do with it.  Unless you go self-hosted, you won’t be able to monetize your site or add extra plug-ins to make it unique.

For more detailed step by step instructions on how to start your new blog using Siteground and WordPress.org, I recommend following this tutorial from Elna at TwinsMommy.com

*Wordpress.com is different from WordPress.org, so don’t get the two confused.  Check out this info-graphic that explains some of the major differences.

Step 4: Design your Site

WordPress.org is actually very user friendly but it can feel intimidating at first.  The first thing you will want to do is choose your theme.  Your theme sets the tone for the way your site looks.  WordPress.org offers a variety of free themes, but you can also purchase a custom made one on Etsy.

Thankfully, WordPress.org offers a lot of support for beginners.  If you’re ever unsure of how to do something, check out their Getting Started Menu to find tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.

Another design element that you will need for your blog is photos.  Photos are a great way to get your message across and help break up long paragraphs of words.  If you’re not much of a photographer, or would prefer to keep personal photos off the internet, then consider using free stock photo sites such as Unsplash, Splitshire, Pixabay or KaboomPics.

To edit your photos and create graphics for use on your website, use free image editing sites such as Canva or PicMonkey.

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Step 5: Network

The community of mental health bloggers is one of the most supportive ones you can find.  You can expect to connect with others who have been through similar experiences, and they are generally pretty supportive no matter what your story is.  Mental health bloggers don’t look at each other as competition and are always looking to share posts that speak the truth about mental health disorders.  Whether you are blogging about postpartum depression, anxiety or another mood disorder – connect with the mental health community to help your voice be heard!

Make yourself known on social media by using hashtags so that other mental health bloggers can find you.  If you plan to use social media for your blog, make sure to start new “business” accounts and use your blog name (or a shortened version of it) as your username whenever possible.

If you plan to recommend products and services that have helped you along your journey, then consider joining some affiliate programs.  Check out Shareasale, CJ affiliates or AwinIf you’re serious about affiliate marketing and want to use it to monetize your blog, then I recommend taking the popular Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.  It contains everything you could possibly want to know about how to make affiliate marketing work for you.

Join the mental health blogging community!  There are Facebook groups,  group boards on Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes you can join.  Twitter and Instagram are also great places to connect with other mental health bloggers, simply by searching for them or clicking on #mentalhealthbloggers.

Step 6: Find me!

Once you’ve started blogging about postpartum depression – come find me!  I would be more than happy to share some of your links, add you to groups, and help you get in contact with mental health bloggers and networks.  You don’t need to be alone in this and if you truly feel a desire to start speaking up about postpartum depression, I am here to help!

Leave a comment below with your blog URL and I’ll make sure to check it out!

How to Start Blogging about Postpartum Depression How to Start Blogging about Postpartum Depression