Online Counseling: Putting Your Mental Health First

A story of how virtual therapy transformed my life

Virtual Therapy

I am no stranger to crippling depression and anxiety brought on by a sudden, immediate and overwhelming life crisis that felt completely outside of my control. This journey was brutally hard and at times I didn’t even know how or why I should keep going, but I am glad that I did and can share this experience with you.

We all now face a tremendous amount of personal, professional and global problems affecting our lives to varying degrees. As our community and the world around us changes, the coming months ahead are going to be a challenge. It will be difficult to adapt to new circumstances and for some this can have a drastic impact on your life, affecting your job, your finances, your relationships, and most of all your mental health. 

Online Counseling: My Saving Grace

A few years ago I “had it all.” A career path I was passionate about, the perfect wedding, a surprise pregnancy, a move to a new country, and a 5-year plan. I had finally “made it.” Yet, in a matter of weeks, it all started to fall to pieces. Every single aspect of my life crumbled into a chaotic mess one after another, like dominoes.

The following two years would be one major crisis or trauma followed by the next. I felt like I was trapped out in the ocean, at the point right where the waves crash and break. At times, I didn’t even have the chance to take a breath before I was caught by the next massive wave that pinned me down with tremendous force. At one point I shut down, becoming emotionally numb to everything just so I could get through the day. 

The waves of overwhelm, lack of control, deep depression, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and utter loneliness were relentless. The darkness I was experiencing was vast and all-consuming. With the added challenge of pregnancy and complete uncertainty for the future, I was desperate for help. My employment and finances were hanging in the balance and with a pending international move, I was limited for therapy options. I turned to online counseling (also known as telehealth or virtual therapy) through BetterHelp and it was the BEST decision I ever made. 

Looking back, I don’t know how I would have survived the last few years without my online therapist. 

She was always there, always responsive. When I withdrew and didn’t get back to her after a couple of days she would check-in with me, and kept checking in with me. I was able to open up to her completely about each major life problem I was facing as they were happening. She was always empathic, gave me reassurance, provided valuable insight, and suggested exercises to do that helped me improve my coping skills. 

Now settled here in the U.S. after international move #3, I have seen in-person therapists, but still prefer online counseling. It feels more flexible and more accessible, and fits better with my life right now. 

Help is Available 

As my mental health improved, so did my life. Slowly I began to regain my true sense of self and I turned to other online healing programs since I already experienced how beneficial it could be for me. Eventually, I became empowered enough to take charge of my own self-care so that I can now handle my anxiety in healthy ways. 

In a crisis, it is not just one area of our lives that is affected, it’s the entirety of our life, and that is tremendously overwhelming for anyone. With so many issues happening all at once, we don’t know where to start and the negative feelings can snowball out of control. You don’t have to wait until you are desperate like I did, there are amazing therapists ready and available to help you.

*Note: Please contact your insurance provider first to ensure your coverage of telehealth services. 

Local Providers Who Offer Online Counseling

Abound Counseling
Anne Carlsen
Becoming Balanced
Autonomy Counseling
Chrysalis Counseling Center
Dakota Family Services
Music Therapy in Motion
Moorhead Counseling
Nicolas Gard, LICSW, PLLC
PATH Trauma & Stress Clinic
Prairieland Counseling
Redeeming Grace Counseling
Resolve Behavioral Health
Sisson Counseling Services
Solutions Behavioral Healthcare
Village Family Service Center

Willow Tree Counseling

Please check in with friends and loved ones who may also need some additional support. Our mental health is so important, and even during times like now there are resources and support available to help. 

Looking for ways to help talk to your kids when current events feel scary? Check out our post here!





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Jennifer, aka Jack's mom, moved to Fargo in the summer of 2019 and spent the previous 10 years living abroad in China. She was an outdoor guide and educator for many years and more recently was the Executive Director of a small non-profit. Originally from a small rural Canadian town, she is passionate about the outdoors, education and the environment.


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