Growing Into The Best Version Of Myself With BetterHelp: Michael's Story

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated February 20, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Deciding to talk to a therapist can be challenging. However, over 41.7 million US adults see a therapist, and the number is growing. One of these individuals is Michael, who has shared his story about using BetterHelp below. If you're considering therapy, you might find inspiration from Michael's story about testing different therapy methods before coming to one that was right for him.
Read about Michael’s experience with BetterHelp

Michael's success story: "Becoming the best version of myself"  

Note: Please consult a medical professional like your primary care physician or psychiatrist before starting, changing, or stopping a medication. 

"I'd like to preface this review by saying that, despite our differences and emotional disconnect, my parents always provided a roof over my head, a warm bed, clean clothes, and plenty of food, which I'll forever be grateful for.

Counseling has been a significant part of my life. When I was in second grade, my parents decided to take me to see a psychiatrist. This choice was made because, as a child, I struggled to remain focused. After my first session, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

In the beginning, I went through multiple psychiatrists, trying multiple medications to soothe my symptoms. Medication was difficult for me because I was born with opiates in my system, which meant I could quickly become dependent on certain medications. My psychiatrist made sure to take care when figuring out what medications would work for me. 

Toward the end of elementary school, my parents and I found one specific psychiatrist I stayed with all the way through high school and for a short time after. This psychiatrist supported me in my mental health and also became our family counselor. We would have in-person sessions once a month with my parents. My brother sometimes attended, as well.  

I can't remember why, but from a young age, my mother and I stopped getting along not long after getting adopted, and my father felt he was always "in the middle." This dynamic became the most prevalent topic of discussion in our family meetings.

In the beginning, I felt the therapy was helping me. I never felt the medication made any difference in my thoughts. However, my psychiatrist helped me come up with solutions to improve myself. Yet, the older I was, the more I experienced scapegoating from my family. It started to feel like I was someone that everyone could blame and take their issues out on. 


My psychiatrist offered fewer solutions, and it got to a point where I constantly felt attacked and felt I was a horrible person who didn't deserve happiness and would never amount to anything. I know this result may not have been intentional, but that's how my heart and mind reacted, and the state of my body soon followed. It got to the point where I didn't want to go to the sessions anymore because they were doing more damage than help for me. 

In college, I had my first experience with psychotherapy from a counselor. This format immediately seemed like the much better option for me, where I felt like someone was genuinely interested in listening. I had a positive experience with that counselor and hope he's doing well and knows how much he helped me then. He started me on self-healing and accepting that everything in life isn't my fault and that there wasn't anything wrong with me for wanting to feel happy. 

However, I only got eight sessions with a campus counselor through college. Once those sessions were up, I had to go to a different counselor elsewhere. I'm a person who's caring and loves to socialize, so when it comes to counselors, I get attached easily. In response, I decided to stop going to my sessions. I didn't see the point if I couldn't keep going to someone I had already grown attached to and trusted. 

Over a month ago, I decided to subscribe to a YouTuber I'd known about for a while but never investigated. Her name was Gabbie Hanna, from the Gabbie Show, and she immediately influenced me. It wasn't long before I saw her video discussing BetterHelp. I recently felt at the lowest point of my life, so I decided to return to therapy and try it again.  

I had to quit my job due to health issues doctors couldn't pinpoint. I was isolated with one friend in a brand-new city and state, unemployed, and unable to see my son or support him how I wanted. I honestly felt stuck, like I'd encountered an impassable obstacle on the road. I reached out to my father and told him about this new site called BetterHelp, which is a therapy service that allows you to message a therapist any time you need to, and he agreed to help me pay for it and signed me up. 

I'm glad I signed up for BetterHelp because I'm at the point in my life where reaching out for support is essential. I am ready to provide the life my son deserves and achieve my goals of helping my family and friends make a positive change in the world. 

I was matched with a counselor named Jeana Alvarado, and I'm not sure if I just got the luck of the draw, but she quickly made signing up one of the best decisions I've made. Jeana has been so helpful in the first month I utilized this service. So far, I've been discussing my issues with self-hate, lack of motivation, and anxiety challenges that prevent me from moving forward in situations throughout my life.

Before I started therapy, I had a negative self-image. I didn't think I deserved to be happy and thought I was a problem to myself and everyone around me. However, my counselor has been challenging my negative mindset in a way that's been doing wonders for me. She helps me develop solutions for any issue I bring her way. She has provided me with meditation methods and worksheets that promote a positive self-image and understanding, even when I don't understand myself. 

After a month, I noticed I was feeling more positive and goal-oriented. Since beginning therapy, I finally feel heard and cared for. I finally care about myself and know I can achieve all my goals. I'm still a work in progress, and the path ahead is arduous, but I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The only way I will get to it is by continuing to move forward. 

I've been applying for jobs daily and writing poetry and stories again like I used to. I've been taking better care of my health and look forward to continuing to grow into the best version of me with my therapist's continued help through BetterHelp. I'm now at a point where, even once I'm "fixed," I believe I'll continue therapy throughout my life."

Read about Michael’s experience with BetterHelp

Counseling options 

Michael's story showcases how therapy can make a difference in a short period. Although there are many formats of therapy to try, some people find online therapy more effective due to its discreet format and flexibility. In addition, it may be more cost-effective than some in-person options. If you've been considering online therapy, a platform like BetterHelp might offer you the guidance you seek. 

Studies also back up the effectiveness of this type of counseling. Michael describes experiencing stress from family dynamics and negative self-thoughts in his story. One study found that internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy could have prolonged effects in treating chronic stress. Another study found that online therapy was more effective than in-person counseling in reducing symptoms of depression


No matter the mental health challenges you're experiencing, you're not alone. Like Michael's story states, achieving support often requires a choice to move forward, even if you know it might be a timely process. 

Therapy can often offer clients the motivation and guidance to achieve their goals in a way they might not be able to see independently due to mental health symptoms or stress. If you think you might find therapy effective, consider contacting a therapist online or in your area to gain further insight into the process and modalities available.

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