5 reasons you should talk to a therapist from time to time

If you are currently wondering if therapy might be helpful for you, the answer is yes. Therapy is no longer just for people with demonstrable mental illnesses. A psychologist can also help you if you are struggling with something relatively minor. And even if you’re not, you don’t need a specific problem to learn and grow a lot from therapy. In many cases, a few conversations with a psychologist are enough. Here are 5 reasons why you should talk to a psychologist from time to time.

1. Gain self-knowledge

Without an objective outsider, it is sometimes incredibly difficult to engage in self-reflection. Often we do not understand why we do certain things. Or we don’t take the time or effort to think about it; after all, we always do those things our way. A psychologist asks questions about what you may have come to regard as perfectly normal. You learn to reflect on your own behavior and to ask yourself questions like: what do I really want? What makes me happy? What behavior or thinking pattern is standing in my way? This self-reflection can have very useful outcomes:

  • You understand why you have become stuck in certain patterns of behavior or thinking.
  • You come to the conclusion that you want to do some things very differently.
  • You gain a better understanding of people around you and their different perspectives.

2. Talk to someone objective

There are some things that you cannot discuss with your partner, a friend, or a family member. These people are simply too close to you or too involved in the situation. A psychologist, on the other hand, is objective. He or she will not take sides, will have no prejudices, and will not tell you directly how to solve the situation.

Working on your own

A psychologist holds up a mirror to you and lets you focus on the role you play in the situation. How can you improve the situation or solve the problem? What can you learn from it? How can you act better in the future? Underlying causes – if there are any – are also brought to light in this way. In this way, you will be offered the tools to solve the problem yourself.

3. Getting mentally stronger

Your psychologist functions as your guide. He or she has a great deal of experience with a variety of problems and the best ways to solve those problems. So a psychologist can effectively help you get back on track. The idea of therapy, however, is that you do the work yourself as much as possible. This will give you valuable skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Many people discover so much about themselves and their abilities in therapy that they are much better able to deal with similar problems in the future. So therapy makes you mentally stronger.

4. Speak your mind

We sometimes get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we barely stop to think about how we actually feel. Many people barely talk about their emotions and are only slightly aware of them. In therapy, there is nothing else to do but to talk about your feelings and thoughts. Sometimes things come up that you didn’t even know were bothering you. Talking to a psychologist can be enormously relieving. See it as valuable time for yourself.

5. Maintaining your mental health

Even if nothing is actually specifically wrong, you would do well to talk to a psychologist from time to time. Just like a checkup with the doctor or dentist, this checks whether you are still on the right track. It’s like a check-up on your mental health. Am I still happy? In what area can I improve? How do I stay comfortable in my own skin? Therapy ensures that you do not lose sight of yourself, your norms and values, and what you find important.

What to talk about with a psychologist?

Nothing is too vague, too crazy, or too unimportant for a psychologist. You really don’t have to have severe psychological symptoms to go into therapy. For example, you can also talk to a psychologist if you:

  • worry a lot, worry often, or suffer from anxious thoughts or nightmares;
  • are uncertain, suffer from fear of failure, or often feel guilty;
  • don’t know exactly what you want in life or get stuck at work or school;
  • have trouble dealing with emotions, suffer from mood swings, or often feel down;
  • are overly tired, feel sluggish, or suffer from stress;
  • need help with making an important choice or entering a new phase of life.

A psychologist hears an awful lot of different stories every day. Whatever you are struggling with, you are not alone. By going to a psychologist for therapy once in a while, you will feel good about yourself again.


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    The benefits of online therapy

    Online therapy, internet therapy, or e-health: there is an increasing demand for psychological treatments via the internet. Is this because more and more people have psychological problems? Probably not. It has more to do with the fact that the taboo on mental health care is getting smaller. And because of the many advantages of online therapy, more and more people are turning to professional help in time.


    It used to be that you first had to go to the family doctor for a referral to a therapist. Saying that you are not doing well and that you would like a referral is different. Therefore, for many people, getting help was a big step. With online therapy, this problem is largely solved. The low threshold ensures that people are more likely to get help. As a result, a larger group of people now receives help. Moreover, better results are achieved through earlier intervention.


    Whether you live in a remote area, have no transportation, or are housebound, an online therapist is always available. All you need is an internet connection. That saves you travel time and costs. If you choose online therapy via email or chat, you don’t even need to arrange a date or time with your therapist. You can then start therapy completely in your own time.


    Many online therapists are also available in the evenings or on weekends. They are not tied to the opening hours of their practice. They may also be working remotely and from a different time zone themselves. That can be very advantageous. This flexibility is very practical if you have little time or a constantly changing schedule. This way you can still schedule regular meetings.


    Online therapy is a godsend for people living abroad. Because it is completely location-independent, you can see a therapist who speaks the same language as you without any fuss. It’s available wherever you are in the world. This is also ideal if you travel a lot for work, have a nomadic lifestyle, or are often on vacation. This way you don’t have to interrupt your therapy every time you go abroad.


    A major advantage of online therapy is the fact that you can do it from home. At home, you undoubtedly feel most comfortable. You are not distracted, can concentrate better, and probably dare to be more open about what is going on. This way you can get to the core of a problem faster and the treatment will be most effective. Moreover, after a session, you can stay on your own couch and let the conversation sink in. What a comfort!


    You won’t accidentally end up in the waiting room with the neighbor from across the street. Nor will you run into your therapist at the supermarket on a Saturday. Online therapy is done remotely, with a professional who may live on the other side of the country or the world. Moreover, you can determine the degree of anonymity yourself. Video calling creates a very ‘personal’ contact with your therapist, who can also interpret your facial expression and body language. But at The Online Therapists, you can also chat with your therapist or email them.


    The team at The Online Therapists consists of professionally trained therapists with at least five years of experience. Each therapist has his or her own specialty, which means that you will quickly find the right therapist for you. Online therapists are, therefore, very capable of treating and curing a diverse range of complaints. Think of:

    • stress and burn-out complaints
    • anxiety or panic attacks
    • depression
    • grief processing
    • trauma treatment
    • relationship problems
    • sexual problems
    • eating disorders


    There is now quite a bit of research on the effectiveness of online therapy. Does it work as well as regular therapy? The answer is yes. Most forms of treatment use talking techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy. This can be done perfectly well over the phone or as a video call. Many clients experience the same personal connection with their therapist as they do in the office.

    In addition, some people find it more beneficial to write down their story via email or chat. Writing gives you time to think about your words and, therefore, has a therapeutic effect. It also gives you the opportunity to read back your own story and the answers from your therapist.

    Low cost

    It varies from provider to provider, but the cost of online therapy is usually lower than that of regular therapy. After all, the therapist can also perform his or her work inexpensively and easily from home. Also, early intervention sometimes reduces the costs. Because many people have easy access to online therapy, treatments are less invasive and shorter. So you also save money!

    Without waiting list

    There are still long waiting lists in mainstream health care. It can take weeks or months before you can finally see a care provider. In that period psychological problems can seriously worsen. At The Online Therapists, you can start with online therapy immediately. This is also a good interim solution if you prefer ‘offline’ therapy, but want to bridge the gap while you are on the waiting list.

    Are you curious if online therapy will suit you? Feel free to schedule an informal consultation. We are happy to answer all your questions.


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      EMDR therapy: what is it and how does it work?

      EMDR therapy is used for people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR was conceived in 1989 by the American psychologist Francine Shapiro. Since then there has been a considerable amount of research on EMDR and the technique has been developed and refined. All this research has now shown that EMDR is particularly effective for both acute and chronic PTSD.

      Who is EMDR therapy for?

      Many of us experience a traumatic event at some point in our lives; an event that has a great impact and takes time to process. Sometimes we manage to process and move on, but sometimes not. EMDR therapy helps people who continue to suffer from a traumatic experience in everyday life. Examples of events that can cause trauma are:

      • a serious accident, such as a car crash or fire
      • an incident of violence, such as an assault or robbery
      • sexual assault, such as a sexual assault or rape
      • a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or flood
      • war
      • serious illness
      • loss, such as of a loved one, relationship, job, or even something abstract like autonomy or self-determination

      Post-traumatic stress disorder

      People who do not succeed in processing such a traumatic experience on their own may continue to suffer from its consequences for years. We then speak of a post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma-related anxiety disorder. This sometimes dramatically affects daily life. Symptoms of PTSD are:

      • bad memories, flashbacks, re-experiences, and nightmares
      • avoidance of situations reminiscent of the trauma
      • fear and panic attacks
      • gloom, brooding, and worrying a lot
      • stress, vigilance, restlessness, and increased alertness
      • shame, guilt, and negative self-image
      • being easily irritated or having a short fuse, anger, and aggression
      • sleeping and concentration problems
      • unexplained physical complaints

      What is EMDR therapy?

      EMDR is an abbreviation of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. The name says it all: the therapy attempts to reprocess the trauma using eye movements. That sounds more vague than it is.

      The theory on which EMDR is based has to do with the way your brain stores memories. The idea is that certain experiences, over time, end up as memories in your long-term memory. As soon as you bring them to mind again, they enter the ‘working memory’. However, working memory has a limited capacity. If you receive other stimuli at the same time, there is very little space left for the memory. The memory is, therefore, stored in another, often smaller, fuzzier, and less overwhelming form, back in long-term memory.

      How does EMDR therapy work?

      With EMDR therapy, this process is actively initiated. The EMDR therapist guides you as you bring the trauma to mind. You are asked to focus on specific images, thoughts, and feelings. Then you are given distracting stimuli that require attention from both hemispheres of the brain. Often you have to follow the hand movements of the therapist with your eyes. But it is also possible that you put headphones on and hear sounds that alternate between the left ear and the right ear.

      After a while, you take a break and the therapist then asks you about your experiences. Often during this process, all kinds of new thoughts and feelings arise. Sometimes you even feel physical changes. Then the process is repeated. Only now the intention is that you focus as much as possible on these changes.

      The results of EMDR therapy

      EMDR therapy works through a series of these kinds of sets. The therapy ensures that the memory becomes less charged and is stored again in the long-term memory in this new form. It may even be that you start to connect positive aspects to it. This makes it easier to think back to the trauma in the future, without it immediately overwhelming you. Also, the memories of the trauma will not overwhelm you as easily.

      Advantages and disadvantages of EMDR therapy

      Disadvantages of EMDR therapy

      EMDR therapy is emotionally demanding. Not everyone is ready to talk about their trauma and consciously bring it to mind as clearly as possible. It is, therefore, important to use a professional and experienced therapist. They can guide you step by step in this process and will not force you. It is also possible that at first new negative or strong images and emotions come up. Many people suffer from this for a few days after an EMDR session and, therefore, also complain of fatigue.

      Benefits of EMDR Therapy

      Fortunately, in most cases, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. For example, EMDR therapy often works extremely quickly, eliminating the need for years of talking to a therapist about the trauma. It can reduce the symptoms themselves so much that at the end of treatment there is no longer any PTSD. For many people with trauma symptoms, EMDR therapy, therefore, provides huge improvements in daily functioning.

      Talking to a therapist if you have PTSD

      Everyone experiences a sad, frightening, or downright traumatic event at some point in their life. How we react to it and process the memories of that event varies. About 10% of people who experience trauma develop a stress disorder as a result of that trauma. We call this post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it can cause intense symptoms and have far-reaching consequences. Fortunately, PTSD is often very treatable. Do you have PTSD or do you suspect that you have it? Then let a therapist help you.

      When do you have PTSD?

      When stress symptoms after a traumatic event do not disappear, persist unnecessarily, or even get worse, we speak of PTSD. PTSD is often associated with traumatic events such as wars, disasters, robberies, accidents, or abuse, but in theory, there is no trauma that is “not bad enough” to cause PTSD. Similarly, a stress disorder can occur after illness, childbirth, the death of a loved one, or even after a relationship breakup or losing a job.


      With PTSD, you experience symptoms related to the memories of the trauma: flashbacks, fear or panic, anger, or depressive feelings. Often people with PTSD avoid certain locations or activities that remind them of the trauma. Memories are also suppressed and hidden away as much as possible.

      Therapy for PTSD

      Treatment for PTSD is often confrontational and emotional. In fact, talking about the trauma and reminiscing are important parts of the treatment. This is not easy for the patient, but it is effective. There are several treatments for PTSD whose success has been scientifically proven.


      Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the best-known treatment techniques for people with PTSD. The therapist asks you to focus on the trauma and at the same time follow his or her hand movements with your eyes. The effect of this is that the memory of the trauma in your brain is moved from ‘long-term memory’ to ‘working memory’, but actually does not get enough space and attention there, because the working memory is also busy with the visual stimuli. As a result, the memory is stored back in long-term memory in an altered, incomplete, or less intense form after the exercise. Thus, in this way, the memories become less overwhelming.

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

      Within cognitive behavioral therapy, the following two methods have also been successfully applied to people with trauma.

      • Imaginary exposure: in this, you talk with the therapist about the trauma and the bad memories. Instead of avoiding these memories, you keep talking about them. By learning to talk about it, you get more and more control over the emotions that these memories evoke. As a result, you will be less and less affected by these emotions in everyday life. You will also have less of a tendency to avoid them.
      • Narrative exposure: depending on the trauma, it is also possible to focus on the positive aspects of the trauma while talking about it. Here you can also try to place the trauma in the context of the rest of your life and to put the positive effects of it under the microscope. In this way, you ‘rewrite’ the memories, which makes it easier to give the trauma a place.

      Professional therapist for PTSD

      It goes without saying that every situation, every trauma, and every patient is unique. Moreover, the threshold for seeking help is often very high for people with PTSD. The treatment of PTSD, therefore, requires customization and a very cautious approach. The treatment takes place step by step and is fully adapted to your needs. Initially, the focus will be on your symptoms and you are not expected to talk in detail about the trauma.

      Eventually, you will have to process the trauma yourself and that is not an easy process. A therapist will support and guide you in a professional way. With a therapist who specializes in the treatment of trauma, you are in good hands.


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        Is a psychiatrist also a psychotherapist?

        There are a large number of different caregivers in the mental health field. To an outsider, it is often unclear exactly what each type of caregiver does. Consequently, in the vernacular, psychological terms and titles of care providers are frequently used interchangeably. Two specialists whose fields of expertise are close to each other, but do differ, are the psychotherapist and the psychiatrist. What is the difference between the two? And is a psychiatrist actually also a psychotherapist?

        What is a psychotherapist?


        If you want to become a psychotherapist, you must have completed a specific preliminary education. A four-year university degree in psychology, pedagogy, or health sciences is required. This must include a major in mental health sciences. Also, a doctoral degree or doctoral exam in psychology gives you access to the training for psychotherapists.

        The training to become a psychotherapist takes another four years, most of which consists of gaining practical experience. Psychotherapists in training are also required to go through ‘learning therapy’ themselves. Thus, they themselves know exactly what it is like to undergo psychotherapy.


        A psychotherapist treats people who have severe mental suffering or complex psychological symptoms. Psychotherapy is, therefore, often intensive and long-term. This distinguishes the psychotherapist from the therapist who often treats less severe psychological problems.

        What is a psychiatrist?


        A psychiatrist is first and foremost a physician. In fact, to become a psychiatrist, you must have completed a six-year course in medicine. Then you follow the training for psychiatrists, which lasts four and a half years. During this training, you specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychiatry, or geriatric psychiatry. You can also choose to focus on certain areas, such as addiction psychiatry, hospital psychiatry, or psychiatry for the mentally disabled.

        The training of psychiatrists pays attention to different fields, such as clinical psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, and ambulatory psychiatry. It also covers the field of psychiatric psychotherapy. This means that the training of psychotherapists is fully integrated into the training of psychiatrists.


        The title of psychiatrist is also protected. The main difference from a psychotherapist is that a psychiatrist is a medical specialist.


        Because a psychiatrist is a physician, he or she has the authority to prescribe medication, conduct physical examinations, request laboratory tests, and evaluate their results. Psychiatrists, therefore, play an important role in the treatment of patients for whom medication is necessary. This is the case, for example, for people with schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, or severe addiction. Psychoses and certain personality disorders are also treated with medication. Often different specialists work together in such treatment. Are you, for example, under treatment for severe depression with a therapist? Then you still need a psychiatrist to be able to prescribe antidepressants.

        A graduated psychiatrist is also a psychotherapist. But while a psychotherapist focuses on psychotherapy, a psychiatrist looks at his patients from a medical perspective.


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