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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      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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        What does a psychiatrist do?

        There are all kinds of titles and designations for mental health workers today: psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, psychotherapist, coach, etc. These titles have to do with the qualifications, training, and specializations of the various social workers. In this regard, psychiatrists differ from other mental health care providers in a number of crucial ways. What exactly does a psychiatrist do?

        A psychiatrist is a physician

        A psychiatrist is the only one of the mental health professionals who is a physician. He or she has studied medicine for six years and then completed a 4.5-year course in psychiatry. Only medical school graduates are allowed to take this course. Because a psychiatrist has a medical background, he or she treats mental illness in conjunction with overall physical health. In doing so, the psychiatrist is the only person authorized to prescribe medication.

        The field of work of a psychiatrist

        Although a psychiatrist can and may use the same treatment techniques as a therapist, in practice the psychiatrist almost exclusively treats patients with severe mental disorders. This is because the treatment of disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or severe depression often requires medication. Because of the seriousness of these problems, the clients of a psychiatrist are often under treatment longer than the clients of other care providers.


        Psychiatrists can work within different sub-fields:

        • Child and youth psychiatry
        • Adult psychiatry
        • Geriatric Psychiatry
        • Social psychiatry: this field focuses on the social and community context of the client. The treatment is often very practice-oriented.
        • Forensic psychiatry: forensic psychiatrists treat clients who have committed a criminal offense because of their condition.
        • Transcultural psychiatry: this field of study investigates the influence of different cultures on the manifestation and treatment of mental illness.
        • Neuropsychiatry: neuropsychiatrists focus on the biological (or neurological) causes of mental disorders.
        • Hospital psychiatry: hospital psychiatrists treat clients who have a mental illness in addition to a physical condition (for which they must go to the hospital).

        Treatment by a psychiatrist

        A psychiatrist treats a client with a combination of talk therapy and medication. Because a therapist can also provide talk therapy, the psychiatrist’s help is sometimes only called in for the medical part of the treatment. This is certainly the case when a client has already established a good relationship with a therapist and he or she prefers to continue the talk therapy with that therapist.

        Where do psychiatrists work?

        Some psychiatrists open practices independently, but most psychiatrists are employed by healthcare facilities where a psychiatric physician is necessary. These include the psychiatric ward of hospitals, secure clinics, psychiatric residential facilities, institutions for youth psychiatry, or drug rehabilitation centers. Where the psychiatrist works depends on the specialization he or she has chosen during training.

        When do I need a psychiatrist?

        If you are looking for help for mental health problems, you will usually first come to a therapist. If that therapist thinks it’s necessary, for example, because you might benefit from medication, he or she can refer you to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will then put together a treatment plan, which may also make use of other disciplines, such as psychotherapy, movement therapy, occupational therapy, or social work.

        Have you been walking around with psychological symptoms for a while? Then turn to a therapist in the first instance. The Online Therapists also has a psychiatrist, so we can always refer you if necessary. Would you like more information? In this article, we will discuss the differences between a therapist and a psychiatrist in more detail.


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          Psychological help for expat children

          With an ever more globalized world, international business practices, and increasing ease of travel, more and more often in psychological practice we treat expat children. Some have moved abroad at a young age and settled down; others have an almost nomadic existence. Expatriate life has advantages and disadvantages and has a different, often more profound effect on children than on adults.

          What are expatriate children?

          Expat children are children who grow up in a culture other than that of their parents or their country of origin, for example, because their parents work abroad. Expat children, therefore, often have little connection with the culture of the country they come from, but also not with the culture of the host country. They are characterized by adopting a kind of third culture that is, as it were, in between. Expat children are, therefore, also called third culture kids.

          Difference from adult expats

          Moving abroad is especially drastic for children because they are still in the middle of developing their identity. Adults have already built up their own identity, certain norms and values, and stable relationships in the country of origin. As a result, they will always feel connected to the homeland and be able to pinpoint a place where they came from. Children do not develop that core identity through expatriate life. This makes being an expat an entirely different experience for children.

          What are expat children good at?

          Expat children learn things that other children may never learn. They go to many interesting places, meet different people and come into contact with all kinds of cultures. As a result, they develop great adaptability, are resilient and curious, and dare to take on new challenges. They are also good at networking, make friends quickly, have great empathy and quickly include others in their social circle.

          Fast maturing

          Expat children often mature relatively quickly because of all these experiences. They know a lot about topics such as politics, culture and religion, speak several languages and often get along well with adults.

          What risks do expatriate children face?

          However, expat life is not easy. Especially when children move several times, a lot of stress, sadness and loneliness can occur. Children struggle with the uncertainty of whether they will make new friends at the new destination. Even if the child does not move, they often have expat friends who move away. The life of an expat child, therefore, consists largely of saying goodbye and starting all over again.

          Identity Crisis

          Expat children often have a hard time answering where they are from or where they feel at home. This is confusing for them. Moreover, having to continuously say goodbye to a place of residence, friends, school, and regular activities and rituals is akin to losing a certain part of one’s identity. Many expat children describe themselves as a ‘chameleon’: they easily measure themselves against different personas, but do not really know who they really are.

          Feeling of guilt

          However, expat life is often accompanied by a lot of luxury. The children live in beautiful homes and attend highly regarded international schools. Also, many parents abroad have the option of hiring a nanny full-time. Expat children can, therefore, feel like they can’t complain. After all, they lead a privileged life, right?

          Symptoms of grief

          What many expat children actually suffer from are symptoms of grief. Saying goodbye over and over again, to a certain environment and with that a part of one’s own identity, simply causes a lot of grief. The cause of the symptoms, however, is not as clearly identifiable as, for example, the death of a loved one. Therefore, the symptoms are often ignored and expatriate children run the risk that this unacknowledged grief will at some point surface in a destructive manner. Expat children are, therefore, at increased risk of developing depression. Therefore, when an expat child experiences psychological problems, it is specifically referred to as Expat Child Syndrome.

          Psychological help for expat children

          Have you moved abroad with your children? Then make sure to be a listening ear. It is important for children to be able to share their stories and any grief they may have. Even though they may now be living in paradise on earth, that does not mean that saying goodbye to a previous place of residence was not incredibly difficult. Give your child the feeling that that grief is allowed to be there.

          A (child) therapist can offer support in this. Many of the therapists affiliated with The Online Therapists live abroad themselves and, therefore, know exactly what is going on with you and your child. Psychological assistance consists of offering comfort and understanding, so that the child can let the mourning process take place. Next, the expat therapist offers help in developing their own identity and building deep relationships and friendships, something expat children often have difficulty with. Children also learn not to let their adaptability get in the way of setting boundaries and priorities.


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