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.

The Danger of the “Fake it ‘Till You Make it” Advice for Postpartum Depression

Moms have to deal with all kinds of advice when it comes to being a parent.

Many mothers with postpartum depression are told to “fake it ’till you make it” which is a common psychotherapy practice.  And in many cases, it’s a great way of building up a person’s confidence and self esteem.  But it’s not always the best course of action and can actually be more dangerous than good.  There’s a reason why this advice is best given by a licensed therapist and not just anyone on the street.  

Here’s some more information about why the “fake it ’till you make it” advice isn’t always best for managing postpartum depression. 
The Danger of the Fake It Till You Make It Advice for 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.

What does “fake it ’till you make it” really mean?

It’s all about pretending.  Let’s say a new mother is struggling to bond with her baby or feel any emotions other than sadness and despair.  She may be given the advice to “fake it ’till you make it.”  What it means is that she should pretend to be happy.  She should smile and cuddle with her baby as often as possible.  The theory is that acting happy will convince her brain that she actually is happy until eventually she’s not depressed anymore. 

I know, right?  It sounds ridiculous.

But believe it or not, there is some merit behind this advice.  It falls into the same category of things like positive affirmations, self help books, pep talks, or other self esteem building activities.  They all work by building up our confidence and helping us to feel positive, empowered and worthy.  The “fake it ’till you make it” advice basically says that if you want to be happy, you have to do what happy people do. 

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Why it’s not the best advice for postpartum depression.

While the practice of “faking it ’till you make it” does work for many people, it’s not the best thing to say to a woman suffering from postpartum depression.  First of all, it’s dismissive. Telling a new mother simply to “fake it ’till you make it” is kind of like a slap in the face.  It can leave her feeling ignored and neglected and makes light of her suffering.  Postpartum depression is a major mental health disorder and being told to “fake it till you make it” treats it as no big deal.

The “fake it ’till you make it” advice is often misunderstood. 

It’s not at all about faking a state of happiness in front of other people.  But this happens too often, especially among mothers.  When someone asks us how we feel following the birth of our child, we hide all of our pain and suffering and fake a smile. 

Instead, the “fake it ’till you make it” advice should be focused inwards. 

The idea is for mothers to act happy in order to train their own minds and not to convince anyone else.  Smiling in the mirror or dancing and singing to music when no one else is around are ways that we can fake a state of happiness for ourselves and no one else. 

“Faking it” can also make it difficult to gauge whether or not your condition is getting better or worse. 

The lines between real and fake can start to become blurred.  This makes it difficult to tell whether the symptoms of postpartum depression are truly improving or not.  If you’re planning to “fake it ’till you make it” you still need to be honest about how you are feeling in order to determine if it’s working.

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What to try instead.

Boosting your confidence and re-training your brain to focus on the positive are both very important for healing from postpartum depression.  But there are lots of ways to do it.

I tried Online Therapy for 30 Days and this is what happened
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Without the help of a trained therapist, it can be all too easy for a mother to get stuck in this “fake” world.  Postpartum depression already has a way of isolating us from the outside world and keeping us apart from our loved ones.  When it comes to mental illness, things can get out of control without warning if left untreated.  If you’re considering using the “fake it ’till you make it” method for boosting your confidence, do so with caution and preferably with the help and support of a medical professional.


What Type of Treatment(s) Did You Seek for Postpartum Depression?

7. What type of treatment(s) did you seek for postpartum depression?

Postpartum Depression Treatments
Postpartum Depression Treatments

I saw a therapist but it didn’t help much. I read some books to try to “fix” myself. But eventually I started taking anti-depressants. I started taking Venlafaxine (Effexor) but didn’t like the side effects. It made me feel dizzy and caused me to sweat profusely. So I switched to Escitalopram (Lexapro) and it’s been much better.   – Vanessa

I didn’t seek medical care, I thought I was “strong enough” to overcome it on my own. When the PPD came back like a blazing fire in a parched forest after my second baby I also thought it would go away on its own. But it didn’t. I did go to a doctor for it and got a prescription but after thorough research I just couldn’t get myself to take the medication. – Anonymous

I had CBT. My therapist has been incredible. It’s been a long road and I’m still in the service 12 months after accessing it for the first time. But it has helped so much. I can sit in that room and say all the crazy frightening horrible stuff in my head and she calmly accepts it and helps me understand why it’s happening. – Alexandra

When I first realized I needed help I went to my midwife and family doctor. I started medication but it didn’t help. I then attempted suicide and was sent to the hospital for an overdose on a prescription my doctor gave me. I stayed in a behavioral health unit that didn’t help one bit. I didn’t want help at the time I was angry and mad that I lived. I hated that my spouse was there but wasn’t there when I needed him. I hated everything and everyone. I felt that my children were better off without me because that’s what I was told. The second time I went to my family doctor and broke down I told him nothing is getting better I feel the same I don’t want to live I then went to a facility just for mental heath that was amazing! I stayed for a week and got to attend therapy 12 times a day with different types of groups. I was eating healthy, taking the right medication and improving my mood. This stay is what helped me, this saved me! And I’m so thankful because now I know I want to be alive I want to be there for my children. I don’t have those awful symptoms. – Amber 

I haven’t sought treatment yet because I am afraid to. – Anonymous

Psychiatrist with very short term use of Zoloft. One hypnotherapy session. Exercise. Forcing myself to get out of the house even if it made me uncomfortable. – Nicole

Therapy, medication. – Anonymous

I called 911 on myself and spent 9 days in psych in the hospital. Only after months of doctors shoving SSRI’s down my throat despite me telling them they were making everything dangerously worse. I had to be put on antipsychotics. – Brittany

I called my family doctor and got put on antidepressants. – Jodi

Therapy and medication.   – Anonymous

Therapy and meds. – Ashley G.

Psychiatrist. – Anonymous

Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication – Amanda

Therapy and medicine and self care. – Anonymous

I went to my OBGYN for medicine, I was on that for about 6 months. I started therapy, yoga, working out, getting a babysitter (I’m a stay at home mom). – Katy 

Started with speaking to my OBGYN. Found a psychiatrist and therapist. Medication and self care. And whatever help you can get with the baby. – Samantha

I went to my psychologist and because I was breastfeeding I didn’t wanted to be admitted so I went every day for clinical treatments. I was on treatment for a few weeks. – Anonymous

I attempted medication however it made it worse. I started therapy. – Melissa

Medication, alternative remedies, exercise.  – Marcella

Therapy, meditation, self care. – Anonymous

None. – Emily

I started with Zoloft but then I started taking better care of my self and joined a support group with other ladies. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered 

I talked to a nurse practitioner at my OBGYN office and discussed medication options and I went with Zoloft. – Chelsea

I asked my doctor for medication. I really didn’t have faith in a therapist, or the time, and I really just wanted a “quick fix.” Within a few days I started feeling a difference, even my husband noticed. I had more energy, I smiled more, just everything seemed brighter. – Kathryn

Weekly psychiatrist, bi-weekly with OBGYN appointments and medications. – Anonymous

I went to my doctor and started meds with wanting to try therapy later to help cope with it. – Krista

Received Zoloft from OBGYN. – Karen from Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County

After visiting with my doctor, I started on Sertraline (an anxiety medication) as at the time, my anxiety is what was most present. After about a month of Sertraline, they added Buproprion (depression med) to my treatment, as once my anxiety settled down, I found myself constantly sleeping and crying. I had many people suggest counseling, but I honestly didn’t see how it would help me. I have seen counselors numerous times in the past and believe strongly in the power of counseling, but all of those times I had a definitive problem that I needed to talk through. I didn’t see how I could “talk through” an issue being caused by hormonal chemical imbalance. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me

Medication and I started writing in a journal about how I felt if I didn’t want to talk about it. – Jessica

None. – Theresa

I did not use medication because, honestly, it just didn’t feel like the right path for me. Unfortunately no one could suggest and alternative, so I tried A LOT of remedies. Ultimately, hypnotherapy and a weighted blanket were my saviors. CBD oil was also very helpful for managing the unexpected spikes in anxiety and rage. Establishing a clean diet and regular exercise routine were life giving, even if I just ran up and down the basement stairs a few times at the end of the day or during nap time. I still struggle, but I’m building my collection of tools. – Amanda from Mom Like Me

I asked a friend who went through it for natural remedies. She told me Raspberry pills B-100 and Fish Oil.  – Anonymous

Therapist and a doctor who had put me on medication I’m currently taking. – Jacqueline from Planning in the Deep

Antidepressant medication.– Haylie

Honestly, during that time I thought they would give me medication of some sort and my thought process was me taking a pill isn’t going to get me more sleep, less of my baby crying or my husband to help more so I just never mentioned it to my doctor & dealt with it. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula

Group support, individual counseling and medication. – Anonymous

Medication. – Anonymous

Looked into therapy but still waiting. Doing meditation, and getting healthier through eating better. – Anonymous

Pharmaceuticals and talk therapy. – Anonymous

None. I couldn’t call, I couldn’t make an appointment with a therapist. I wanted to desperately, but I couldn’t. – Eda

Being OK with asking my dad and kids for help. I treat myself with better self care. – Anonymous

I finally checked into a hospital after driving my car into a telephone pole, where I was kept for three days and monitored while I tried new medication. I saw a therapist once a week for a year and a psychiatrist who worked at a newly opened mental health clinic in my area. – Kathleen

Medication, Sertraline and counseling. – Stephanie

I went to healing retreats for myself, not realizing what I was “treating” but knowing I needed space to find myself again. I went away for 10 days on a wilderness quest when my son was 18 months old. It was so important for me to have time to reconnect to myself and let go of old parts of myself. I was so lucky to have my husband and mom to take care of my son while I went away. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa

I reached out to my OB and she prescribed me meds but said exercise does the same thing. It was cold at the time and it was too hard with a newborn and 2 other children in school. – Beth


Postpartum Depression Triggers Postpartum Depression Triggers

Anti-depressants are not the only treatment option.

It’s a common misconception that prescription medications are the only treatment for postpartum depression.  Many mothers don’t seek treatment at all because they don’t feel comfortable being “drugged up” during this sensitive stage of life.  Various forms of therapy including talk therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, group therapy and so much more can all offer relief from symptoms.  Natural treatment options can work as well, including changes to diet and exercise, vitamins and supplements, yoga and meditation.

What can we do to change this?

The best place to start is by discussing your condition with a medical professional.  Don’t assume that you can fix yourself or that it will go away on it’s own.  While it’s important to know and recognize the symptoms of postpartum depression in yourself, the intensity of your mental illness should always be assessed by a doctor or psychiatrist.  If you’re not comfortable taking antidepressants, then speak up and ask about your options.  If your treatment plan isn’t working, then try something different, or a combination of things.  Postpartum depression can be a long term battle, so figuring out a treatment plan sooner rather than later will save you a lot of pain in the long run.


Related Reading:

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