Mental health care is freaking expensive. I spend $130/session to see my psychiatrist and $15/month on prescriptions. It took me months of searching to find therapy I could afford.
So many in person therapists in my area do not accept insurance and cost $150-200/session. Nope. Not possible.
So I’ve tested out a couple of online therapy programs (similar to my email life coaching service in how it’s run). I used TalkSpace for a bit but I found my therapist more focused on talking through things than helping me come up with exercises to work through things. I wanted more behavioral therapy over talk. It sometimes happens that you need to go through multiple therapists to find one that works for you- it sucks that it takes so much effort but that’s common.
I currently use BetterHelp and I like it wayyyyy more. Mostly for the fact that I can chat with my therapist throughout the week and I can schedule live chat, phone, or video sessions every week. TalkSpace wanted a lot more money for using multiple platforms. I currently pay $35/week for BetterHelp, but that goes down to $25/week after the first 3 months. I have a therapist I really like on this platform so this is a very worth-while expense for me.
BUT if money is a factor for you and online therapy is currently out of the budget too, here are some books that I use with my therapist that can be SUPER DUPER helpful to you as well:
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook
My psychiatrist really wanted me to be in a DBT intensive therapy program. That generally involves one group session a week and one 1-on-1 session a week. Costing around $100/session = nope, not possible. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is very similar to CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in that it focuses on behaviors and changing thought patterns, but DBT is mindfulness based. It’s used to treat mood disorders (hence why it was recommended for my bipolar), along with helping people who struggle with self-harm, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. This workbook teaches you a lot of those skills to do on your own like self-soothing and distraction from triggers and stressors, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal skills. Some of these skills can be a bit tricky which is where having someone work through it with you, like my online therapist, can be very beneficial.
Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem
Negative self-talk and thought loops are what trigger a lot of low moods and control a lot of our actions. This book tackles how to rewire some of those thoughts and make us choose to do things based on wanting to take care of yourself instead of doing something because you’re beating yourself up. I have personally recommended this book to clients.
The Bipolar II Disorder Workbook: Managing Recurring Depression, Hypomania, and Anxiety
This book is actually one of the first I bought when I realized therapy was too expensive for me and before I found my online therapist. Obviously this resource is better suited for someone who is also Bipolar 2, but the skills in this book are skills I use with my coaching clients no matter the reason they come to me. Learning mood patterns and triggers is beneficial to anyone.
These books and online therapy have been my affordable solution to treating my illness beyond taking medication. They have helped me learn to rely on self-care and physical activity as my main mood stabilizers.
Tell me in the comments other resources you use/love to help you with your mind!
*This post contains affiliate links that if you choose to purchase I make some money from. I only recommend products that I believe in and all of the thoughts are my own.*