Treatment for depression: my experience with an online therapist
Treatment for depression: my experience with an online therapist

Sylvia had the feeling that she was asking too much of herself for a long time: she was doing too much at work and at home, in the relationship with her then husband. Last year Sylvia went to PsyQ and was offered an online treatment for her complaints. We asked her how that was.

Can you tell something about yourself?

“Yes, I am Sylvia, 54 years old, have two adult children and recently got divorced. I am working 4 days a week, I have a dog, I like walking and music!”

You have been treated at PsyQ and helped through NiceDay. What kind of complaints did you have?

“I was going through a difficult time. I was asking too much of myself and then dropped out with a burn-out and ended up at PsyQ with mainly depressive symptoms.”

What did you think when you first heard about online treatment?

“I was a bit disappointed because you don’t have eye to eye contact. And you are not physically together. But on the other hand it is also nice. I immediately thought: you don’t have to go anywhere and through video calling you can see each other anyway, in your own environment. Because of this I was interested after all. ”

And how do you feel about online treatment?

“I thought it was very personal! In a session your coach and online therapist is fully focussed on you. And if you are in need of personal contact between sessions, you can always chat with your online therapist. The moment something comes to mind you can share it with your own coach: by writing it in your diary or by sending a chat message. I didn’t need an answer right away, but you did write it down and just wait for the answer.”

Can you tell how the treatment went?

“In the beginning we had a video call session every week and I used the NiceDay app on a daily basis. I filled in my journal and kept track of my mood. Sometimes I also sent a chat message in between session. My online therapist responded quickly to my messages. And if I was in need for an extra session, it was easy to make an appointment. At a certain point I was doing better and as a result the session became shorter and less frequent sometimes . For example, once every two weeks. ”

You indicated that you have been treated before, what were the advantages and disadvantages of online treatment to you?

“An advantage was certainly that you don’t have to go to a specific location. Planning sessions to go to an office was previously difficult. When I was treated before, I lived in the Zaan region but I had to go to my psychologist in Amsterdam. Traveling also gave me extra stress, because you want to be on time and sometimes you are stuck in traffic. I cannot name any disadvantages of NiceDay, but my online therapist Béatrice also plays a major role in this. I really had a click with her. ”

Do you often think back to the things you learned during your treatment?

“Yes, I also have the NiceDay app on my phone and read back regularly. I go through everything I have done during the treatment (filling in G-schedules, drawing up the relapse prevention plan). You get a boost from that anyway. I can literally see that I was in a much worse condition before and this gives me courage, courage that everything will always be fine. ”

What is most important thing you have learned?

“Reflecting helps me to be positive and to keep going. Know that the good times are coming. Previously I would flee my “negative” feelings. I would plan something nice with girlfriends and go out for example. Now I am planning a rest day to feel everything that happens inside. I really achieved this through the help of Béatrice, because of her I can now think about it that way. ”

Would you recommend the online treatment with NiceDay to others?

“Certainly! Precisely because of the things I mentioned earlier: it is easy to reach your own online therapist and you get help when you really need it. Being able to send your coach a chat message when you are not doing fine is so wonderful. Whenever something is wrong, you can share it with your online therapist, let go of whatever you are thinking and feeling and your therapist will come back to it. With regular therapy you have to write it down or remember it so you can share it in the next session. By then you probably have already forgotten about it. Now I have taken steps into the right direction. More steps I have ever taken in comparison to other treatments!

Do you have a tip for someone who also wants to start an (online) treatment?

“You have to work hard, but you are doing it for yourself. Be motivated, you must want to invest. You cannot sit back and expect the other person (your therapist) to make you better. Invest in yourself, in the app and listen to your online therapist. You can do it!”

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Lisa den Boer

Content creator who believes in the power of content: breaking taboo, motivating and inspiring. Curious about new places, cultures and other people.

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