A BetterHelp Employee Tries Therapy

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia
Updated February 29, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
In this series, BetterHelp employee Maria tries therapy for the first time. A note from Maria:
"I am going to be as honest as I can be with this process and I hope it helps you or brings you a laugh or a moment of “hey, me too”. Know that I want to normalize therapy, and that I’m using BetterHelp to help me on this very human journey."

Episode 1: Maria starts therapy

by Maria, BetterHelp employee

For starters (and in the interest of openness), here’s a little bit about me. I’m a mom, supportive wife, devoted daughter, eldest sister of three, fierce friend, and trustworthy colleague. After an extended stint in California for school and work, I recently moved back to my hometown in Colorado to be closer to family. Career wise, I’ve always been drawn to making a difference. Truthfully, I was planning to become a teacher, but as fate would have it, I took a gamble and joined a small startup that transformed the consumer products industry into a force for human and environmental good. After 7 years, I moved on and joined BetterHelp to lead our lifecycle marketing strategy – which brings me to you. As 2024 starts and I begin another decade of life, I’m looking to find a renewed purpose in therapy.

The last time I went to therapy was in high school. My parents were going through a tumultuous time in their lives and it trickled down to me. I was a really academically strong student and a not-good-but-dedicated cross-country runner, and I just stopped studying and stopped going to practice. My first kick in the pants was getting kicked off the cross country team. My mom thought therapy could help me get back on track a bit and just work through how I was feeling. Therapy was a safe space where I could feel validated and like what I was going through wasn’t the end of the world. My therapist also helped me build resilience and skills that even benefit me now.  

This time around, I’m starting therapy for different reasons. First of all, I want to experience the product that I work everyday to put out into the world. But beyond that, 2023 was a hard year. I went through a lot of loss and am hanging onto some unresolved grief. More on that in our next newsletter, but suffice it to say that when they say loss hits you in threes, they’re right. And beyond that, being a mom is hard sometimes! And being a working mom has its own struggles. I’m still figuring out how to do it all. 

I should also mention – in full transparency – that as a BetterHelp employee, I can use the platform for free (it’s a great perk of working here).

When I look at 2024, I need some support to stay motivated and accountable to my goals.
I want to feel better, I want to stop making excuses for daily exercise, I want to be better at routine and moderation, and to actively choose to keep trying to be the best version of myself. So that’s what I’m looking for in therapy. 

I started by signing up for BetterHelp and filling out the questionnaire. I took my time, and it took me 21 minutes from start-to-finish. There are A LOT of questions that you really have to think about, and I found myself hesitating on some of them because they were pretty personal and descriptive. Do I want to be known as someone who is having a hard time with grief or loss? Do I want to be known as a weekend drinker? Do I have good health or fair health – what’s the metric?  Etc.

It took me 48 hours to get matched with my therapist. I took the quiz on a Friday and got my match email on a Sunday. Then I booked the first session that I could! I’m ready to get started and see how this goes. 

To prep for my first session, I found these resources super helpful:

I also looked up my therapist, read reviews, and am looking forward to meeting her on camera for the first time very soon. 

Thank you for following along, and stay tuned to hear about my first session next month. 

With love and therapy,
Maria

Try therapy for yourself


Episode 2: The first session

by Maria, BetterHelp employee

I met my first therapist a few weeks ago, and I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t the right fit. I was a little bit bummed to not get a match on my first go-around, but I was able to use BetterHelp’s “Switch Therapist” feature to find another one very quickly.

After I hit the switch button in the app, it only took about five minutes to generate 10 potential new therapist options.

I went through the profiles and calendars of my new options and found one who looked like a better fit. I chose my new therapist because her main expertise was in grief, coaching, and coping with life change – all of which are my focus over the next few months.

I had my first 30-minute session yesterday, and we decided to meet for 45 minutes next time. While we didn’t have time for EVERYTHING in the first session, we still covered a lot:

  • We got acquainted for a few minutes.
  • I started to tell her about my 2023 experiences and why it was a hard year. 
  • I talked her through some of the losses I’ve experienced over the last year – including losing my mother-in-law after her long battle with cancer, and losing my grandma to Lung Cancer in May. 
  • Both of these women were huge role models in my life, and we talked about the unresolved grief I have over losing them. 
  • My therapist asked me to reflect on the feelings I was experiencing, and then told me that our time together will be focused on “grief and balance.”
  • She assigned me a journaling exercise, and we scheduled our next session for next Monday.

So that’s a little snapshot of my first experience with BetterHelp therapy. I’ll be back next month with more play-by-play.

Talk soon and take care of yourself <3,
Maria

Try therapy for yourself

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