Online therapy with NiceDay: experiences from an expat
Online therapy with NiceDay: experiences from an expat

Can you tell us a little something about yourself?

“I am a 34 year old, female living in Haarlem. I have a partner and I am an expat. I moved to the Netherlands three years ago and I currently have quite a demanding manager job in the IT sector. So, I am this kind of person that moved to a new place with challenges from the past but also with new challenges on their plate.“

Why did you start with NiceDay?

“I started feeling down, having low energy and I encountered certain problems. First I had a talk with my general practitioner. At that moment the situation was not critical so I needed to wait several months to get into care. After that some bad events happened at home and work. All in a few days. I wanted immediate help. I didn’t want to wait for months. A friend of mine told me about the possibility to immediately start with NiceDay. So I downloaded the app and I had contact with someone from the NiceDay Team almost directly.”

Did you try other services while being on the waiting list for insured mental health care?

“Yes, I tried two others. The first one wasn’t the right fit because I couldn’t find an English speaking coach which I also had a click with. That specific coach was quite invasive, stating things as “you should change your job”, without looking for the underlying causes. The other app I tried, didn’t have a warm welcome either. They immediately asked me for my payment details. There were no clear insights on how to proceed. In NiceDay I immediately felt welcomed, the coach that I got for online therapy explained me the process and what I could expect. Step by step, which was very comforting at that moment.”

Can you explain us more about your NiceDay-journey? How many times did you have contact for example?

“I started off with an intake, that conversation was very open and all the options were discussed. Coach Ayla also asked me how frequent I would like contact. We started off with contact every 5 days, after some sessions it got less frequent. It wasn’t only video calls either, we also used chat only sometimes. I felt heard. I really felt a personal click with my coach and of course the convenience of staying in your own house to do sessions is amazing. After the sessions I always felt energised and optimistic in contrary to what I’ve experienced in sessions with others before.”

What is the current situation?

“I came to the end of my sessions with Coach Ayla. Now I am going to continue with online therapy within NiceDay but with insured care. This means I will get a different psychologist, but I will still stay active within the NiceDay app. There is no connection yet. until there is, I will still stay connected to Ayla. So, technically my NiceDay journey is not done yet. The difference is, that before it was coaching and now I am moving on to treatment for a specific complaint done by a psychologist of PsyQ.”

What are your takeaways from the sessions with your coach?

“We worked on my anxiety and the loss I experienced. There are some things that really stuck with me. I found the tools that my coach provided very simple yet very powerful. Regarding anxiety: we all know how easy it is to say “don’t worry” to another person and how impossible it is to actually stop worrying yourself. My coach suggested to schedule the worrying time. I got stuck in a negative worrying cycle about my job, my family, my house etc. quite often and with scheduling time when I could worry, I wouldn’t allow worrying to take over my whole day.

Ayla taught me to extend my worrisome thoughts to the point where I would find how low the probability of the event that worries me actually is. It’s a completely different perspective.

Before I started working with NiceDay I would find myself worrying about my boyfriend being really late while having a flat battery on his phone. I would start imagining horrible reasons why he could be late. I would try to stop those thoughts and distract myself. But then in a few minutes come back to my worries “what if something happened” and being stuck in a loop. Thinking my whole worry through “I am afraid there was an accident – I am afraid that after the accident nobody helped him – I am afraid that nobody would call me” and doing a reality check. “He is with a group of colleagues, in the most crowded part of the city, where if anything happens actually people would already have contacted me” show how little the possibility is.

However, maybe the most important takeaway is a personal revelation.

A few years ago I lost my mother. She had cancer. Unfortunately she didn’t receive the adequate medical care on time in the country she was living in. I had a lot of responsibilities, trying to find treatments and clinics and didn’t know exactly how to do it. From that moment onwards, I felt a strong urge to control everything and if I didn’t have control over a situation I would end up in that negative, worry cycle.

After two talks with my coach, she gave me another angle to look towards my anxiety. I was always expecting bad things to happen, since these bad thing had happened before, and the only way for good things to happen was if I could control them. But actually what happened was the opposite, so learning again that good things also happen on their own without overcontrolling every aspect of life is like learning to walk again.”

Would you recommend NiceDay to others?

“I already did actually! I understand how hard it is to admit that you need help. It was for me as well. Using NiceDay, can change your mind since it removes a lot of big obstacles. You don’t have to go to the doctor, you don’t need to leave your house. And once you opened yourself up to the help, it becomes also easier to take care of yourself. And that’s important, you should take care of yourself!”

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This blog post is written by the editors of NiceDay or has been shared with us anonymously. Want to share your story anonymously? Send your story to

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