I have been in and out of therapy since my teens, but only a couple of therapists were really able to help me. Both of them focused on psychotherapy/CBT techniques, so this is what I was looking for in a new counselor after discovering my Asperger’s.
For me, traditional, in-person therapy is not very helpful. It takes me way too long to open up, and I never truly feel comfortable. Therefore, off and on throughout the past several years, I’ve turned to online therapy.
I found one counselor who was extremely helpful and began the difficult work of helping me break through my negative thought patterns and rewrite them into something positive. Unfortunately, she ended up needing to take a medical retirement due to Lyme disease. I haven’t found anyone else as competent in the years since.
After discovering that I’m an Aspie, I tried to find someone who specializes in CBT and has at least some experience with Asperger’s. I kept getting shut out over and over again. I finally found one person, but her rates were so astronomically high that I didn’t pursue it any further.
Then I had a stroke of luck combined with a meaningful coincidence. While researching an article for one of my clients (I’m a content writer), I stumbled across another online therapy site. None of the counselors there had the skills I was looking for, but the site did offer its own app that helps coach people through their negative thought patterns.
I’ve been using the iCouch CBT app for about a week, and it’s already made a big difference in my life. Now, instead of stewing in negativity and constant catastrophizing, I’m able to gain some much-needed insight on my own.
Writing about the issue at hand and allowing myself to let all of my negative thoughts/feelings out is beneficial in the same way as journaling, but then the app prompts me to look at things from an alternate, more positive and reality based point of view.
After doing this exercise a few times, I’ve developed more resiliency when dealing with situations that usually trip me up. I’m sure my track record won’t stay perfect, but being completely honest with my thoughts and helping myself find a better way to look at things has been way more helpful for me than talking to most of the therapists I’ve encountered.
This app does cost money ($2.99), and A pointed out to me later that there are some similar apps that are free. So if you’re interested in trying a self CBT app, you might want to look into all of your options before committing to anything. I’m okay with having spent $2.99, though, because it’s way better than the cost of even one therapy session.
This may not work for everyone and definitely shouldn’t be a therapy replacement for people who are currently suffering from serious depression, but it is an option for people like myself who need help with negative thought patterns and haven’t been able to find the right fit with a counselor.
Photo by pleasingfalsetto