Dream the Impossible Dream: 5 Ways of Dealing with Social Anxiety

Do you fear being judged by other people? Are you nervous about talking in front of people? Do you avoid social situations?

People dealing with social anxiety find it nearly impossible to meet new people, go on dates or find jobs. For them, spontaneity along with any form of normal functioning in social settings is an unattainable dream. They can only imagine a world in which they can spark a conversation with little effort and enjoy the company of new people.

We are social by nature and, therefore we have a desire to belong to a group and to be accepted by its members. Social anxiety results from the fear that our peers may not accept us for who we are. We fear negative evaluation by other people and we have a biological need to be liked.

Social anxiety is still poorly understood in the world today and, outside of scientific circles, people, in general, don’t have a good understanding of the condition. The good news is that it is highly treatable according to the experts.

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is also known as social phobia. People with social anxiety feel fearful or anxious in social situations like being on a date, meeting new people and going for job interviews.

Someone dealing with social anxiety becomes anxious doing normal things in front of others. Eating, drinking or talking in front of another person may be very uncomfortable to someone with social anxiety.

The persistent fear of social situations or performance situations are the main factors by which social anxiety is characterized. Someone who lives with social anxiety is fearful of being in the presence of unfamiliar people. They fear that their actions will embarrass them or humiliate them and to top it all; they are afraid that people will notice their anxiety.

Some level of anxiety is normal and most people endure some or other form of social anxiety during their lives. However; people with social anxiety disorder tend to worry excessively and for long periods of time before an anticipated social situation.

People dealing with social anxiety attempt to avoid the social situations that they dread. Sometimes, avoidance is not an option and they have to endure the situation while experiencing intense distress.

Social anxiety can cause significant problems in social and occupational functioning. People with social anxiety disorder have a strong fear of social situations which they cannot control. This fear makes it difficult for them to go to work, attend school and take part in other normal social activities. In the end, they stay away from events or places where they expect that they may do something to embarrass themselves.

People who are challenged by social anxiety are not all necessarily afraid of run-of-the-mill social situations. Some people may struggle with the symptoms of anxiety while performing on stage, playing a sports game or giving a speech.

Social anxiety disorder often starts during youth and without treatment, it may last for many years and prevent people from reaching their full potential in life. It is highly comorbid which means that it can co-exist with other conditions like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.

People dealing with social anxiety find ways to cope and they usually live fairly isolated lives. They may not have many friends, get married or go to social events like parties. Luckily, various forms of treatment are available to assist these people in living happy lives.

Stats About Social Anxiety

The recognition of social anxiety disorder, in general, is a cause for concern. Adults, children, and young people are often not diagnosed appropriately for this condition.

Many people are misdiagnosed as suffering from major depression alone. A missed diagnosis may occur if history taking was done improperly. This is a serious issue as it may have implications for treatment and it may negatively affect the outcome of the treatment.

Recent statistics indicate that around 12.1% of adults in the U.S. experience social anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Furthermore, it has been estimated that 9.1% of U.S. adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years have social anxiety.

5 Ways to Start Dealing with Social Anxiety Now

Social anxiety can be dealt with in several ways. By facing what is real and changing what can be changed, the patient can experience drastic improvements in social functioning.

Attend to and Learn About Your Social Anxiety

Experts recommend that people need to face their anxiety. In therapy, the thoughts that drive the anxiety are identified and they are used to bring about improvement. Maladaptive thinking patterns are challenged as people are encouraged to expose themselves to situations that make them anxious over extended time periods. Through this exposure, they have the opportunity to realize that nothing bad will necessarily happen.

Identify and Get Rid of “Safety Behaviors”

People dealing with social anxiety often engage in “safety behaviors”. They use these behaviors to avoid being embarrassed in front of other people and it may seem to work at first. The problem is that “safety behaviors” maintain your anxiety as you end up believing that they are the sole reason why you able to survive uncomfortable social situations.

The most effective way for someone with social anxiety to gain real control is through exposing themselves to feared social situations without using their safety behaviors. Over time, the person will realize that he/she is equipped to handle situations that he/she is afraid of without using safety behaviors. The best idea would be to commence with this exposure under the supervision of a therapist as part of a treatment program.

The treatment involves listing feared social situations in order from least feared to most feared situations. The person is then encouraged to expose themselves to the listed situations repeatedly starting with the situations that are less fear provoking moving up to more challenging situations as confidence improves.

Exposure exercises help people to confront real-life situations through role-play exercises and homework assignments.

Challenge Negative Thinking

Negative thinking has an influence on social anxiety. Therefore, many types of therapy for dealing with social anxiety involve techniques to transform negative thinking into positive thinking. In essence, negative thoughts have to be understood before strategies can be put in place to change these thoughts or lessen their effect.

Cognitive restructuring is a useful technique that involves identifying negative thoughts, evaluating them and replacing them with positive thinking. It can be used on its own or as part of a more complex intervention. At first, it may be quite difficult to think with this new style. But with time and practice, the positive thoughts will come to you more naturally.

Mindfulness training encourages people to distance themselves psychologically from their negative emotions and worries; they become observers. The objective of mindfulness training is to gain greater control of how you react emotionally to certain situations by putting the “thinking part” of your brain in charge.

Dealing with Social Anxiety

Practicing Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are an important part of treatment as far as social anxiety is concerned. Relaxation commonly forms part of a comprehensive treatment plan, but it can also be practiced at home.

Applied relaxation is a type of relaxation training that is used to teach people how to relax in everyday social situations. Progressive muscle relaxation is used to train individuals to relax on cue in common social situations.

Deep breathing is another helpful technique to use before a situation that may cause anxiety. By practicing it every day, you can become used to it and when you need to use it you won’t need to focus so intensely on it.

Autogenic training is a technique in which the patient repeats a series of statements to themselves about certain parts of the body. By repeating these statements it is believed that the functioning of the autonomic nervous system is influenced. Your heart rate may lower and you may also have more control over other stress or anxiety related reactions.

Practicing Self Acceptance

One of the main goals of treatment used for dealing with social anxiety is to help people understand that anxiety is treatable. Having social anxiety is not the end of the world and various techniques are available to treat this mental health problem.

Instead of focusing on gaining control over and eliminating anxiety, you could learn to accept it. By learning to tolerate your feelings of anxiety, you will start to realize that they are not as objectionable as anticipated.

Learning to accept social anxiety will help to prevent your anxious feelings from spiraling out of control.

What Are the Traditional Treatments for Social Anxiety?

In the 1960’s, social anxiety disorder became established as a separate phobic disorder. The treatment was evidence-based and involved repeated exposure to the feared social situations through imagination. Over the years, treatment approaches evolved to focus on techniques used in real social situations.

Therapy for Social Anxiety

Social anxiety disorder is treated with psychotherapy, medication or with both. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a useful therapy in the treatment of social anxiety which teaches people that there are different ways to think, behave and react in social situations to reduce anxiety. With CBT you have the opportunity to learn and practice new social skills.

Other forms of therapy include interpersonal psychotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Exposure Therapy for Social Anxiety

Seeing as many people with social anxiety tend to cope with dreaded social settings, they try to stay away from awkward situations all together as the ultimate coping strategy. For this reason, a therapist will encourage the individual to do the exact opposite during therapy.

Exposure therapy is built around the assumption that the avoidance of feared situations forms a central part in social anxiety. The treatment involves creating an exposure hierarchy which is a list of situations in which you become anxious; in order of severity.

You start with the easiest situation and move up the list to the more difficult social situations.

Meditation/Mindfulness for Social Anxiety

Mindfulness is a practice in which you detach yourself from your own thoughts and emotions and view them from an outside perspective. The objective here is to gain control over your feelings and thoughts. By allowing the practical part of your brain take over, you can keep your emotional reactions under control.

CBD Oil for Social Anxiety

The research on CBD oil or cannabidiol oil is still young. However, there is evidence suggesting that CBD oil may reduce the symptoms of social anxiety.

How to Find a Therapist

At ThriveTalk, we make it easy for you to find a therapist. ThriveTalk offers a simple sign-up process and affordable rates.

The guidance provided by our fully trained, licensed, accredited and experienced psychologists is based on proven best practices and the most up to date methodologies in human psychology. Our therapists are both caring and dedicated. We are here to listen and to provide you with proactive strategies for overcoming the obstacles in your life.

With online thera,py you can work with a therapist from your own home, which will allow you to apply the recommended techniques in everyday situations.

Get in touch with us at ThriveTalk here to learn about our services and about the benefits that our therapy has to offer for people dealing with social anxiety.

Dealing with Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can be quite debilitating and the effortless social situations that most people take for granted can only be imagined by those who live with this condition.

If social anxiety is getting in your way of having a fulfilling life, seek help and you may be able to dream the impossible dream!


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness/index.shtml
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/what-is-social-anxiety/411556/
  3. https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Full%20Social%20Anxiety%20Guidelines%20(May%202013).pdf
  4. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/social-anxiety-disorder.shtml
  5. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-safety-behaviors-that-maintain-social-anxiety-3024885
  6. https://psychcentral.com/lib/6-ways-to-overcome-social-anxiety/
  7. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-change-negative-thinking-3024843
  8. https://www.verywellmind.com/relaxation-techniques-for-sad-3024334
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/28674195_Acceptance_and_commitment_therapy_for_generalized_social_anxiety_disorder_A_pilot_study
  10. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319622.php


Inferiority Complex: 5 Tips for Fighting Low Self-Esteem

Inferiority complex is beyond the occasional feelings of inadequacy and inferiority everyone feels at some points in life. It is a pathological state of being overwhelmed by a real or imagined inadequacy, causing an individual to be less confident and being overly critical of themselves.

Inferiority Complex: What does it mean?

Inferior Definition – Feeling inferior means feeling inadequate or below others in terms of social, physical, intellectual, or psychological attributes. For instance, a student may feel inferior to others he considers brilliant in his class because of his poor performance. Feeling inferior stems from comparing oneself with others and perceiving oneself as not being up to par with others on a certain scale.

While everyone, at some point in life, has felt inferior to someone else in terms of knowledge of a subject, ability to play a musical instrument, and so on, inferiority complex is a much broader and long-lasting feeling of inadequacy which stems from childhood and affects almost all aspects of an individual’s life.  People with inferiority complex usually don’t feel good enough and they express extreme sensitivity.

Adlerian Psychology (as theorized by the Psychologist Alfred Adler) differentiates inferiority complex into two types: Primary inferiority and secondary inferiority. Primary inferiority occurs in childhood with the feelings persisting into adulthood. Primary inferiority is often caused by childhood stressors such as parental neglect, parental abuse, inadequate emotional support, and poor academic performance. It is often intensified by comparison to siblings, friends, and adults. Secondary inferiority begins in adulthood and results from an adult’s inability to achieve goals set to compensate for their original childhood feelings of inferiority.

According to Adler, everyone feels inferior to others in a certain way once in a while, and it is completely normal. Adler notes that this feeling is a stimulant to the healthy, normal developmental process of a human being. He differentiates it from inferiority complex as the latter being a pathological state where the feeling of inferiority dominates an individual and causes them to feel depressed and incapable of progressing to the desired stage.

Inferiority Complex vs. Low Self Esteem

Although contemporary psychologists (and a lot of people) interchange inferiority complex and low self-esteem, they have slightly different conceptual meanings. A low self-esteem is a feeling of doubt in oneself, sense of self-worth, or one’s ability to do something. It typically stems from a subconscious perception of oneself as below a certain physical, social, or intellectual standard. Inferiority complex stems from a low self-esteem. It is a manifestation of a low self-esteem and refers to how a person’s constant thoughts of inadequacy and self-doubt affect their emotions, interactions, relationships, and general worldview.

What Could Cause Inferiority Complex?

Inferiority complex results from an imagined or real feeling of inadequacy and inferiority. Some of these factors that cause inferiority complex include:

  • Parental upbringing – Children who are brought up by caregivers who are disapproving and always critical of their actions and performance are at a high risk of developing a low self-esteem and inferiority complex.
  • Social Limitations – Discrimination against an individual based on their family, race, sex, socio-economic status, educational level, religion, and sexual orientation may place them at a risk of inferiority complex.
  • Physical defects – Some defects in appearance, such as weight issues, visual defects, skin diseases, burn wounds, may trigger feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem in some individuals. Other physical features such as speech defects including stuttering may also lead to feelings of inferiority complex.

Inferiority Complex “Symptoms”

It is important for people to recognize the signs of inferiority complex so as to better understand themselves and how to seek help. These signs include:

1. Social Withdrawal

People with inferiority complex usually feel uncomfortable being around others, particularly in a crowded place. This is because of an imagined belief that others would soon find out that they don’t fit into the group, causing them to feel embarrassed. People with inferiority complex often have trouble making new friends or maintaining the ones they have, because they feel they are not good enough and the friends may not like them.

2. Fault Finding

A key sign of inferiority complex is the urge to make others feel inadequate or incompetent too. An individual with inferiority complex is not driven by the need to achieve or succeed at something, therefore, they do not train their minds to recognize and compliment the positive attributes of others. To feel better about themselves, such individuals tend to make others feel bad about themselves too by finding faults and pointing out the wrong things about others. They also do not take responsibility for their failures and mistakes, blaming them on others.

3. Performance Anxiety

An individual with inferiority complex already feels they can’t achieve as much as others in a certain task, therefore, if placed in a situation where they have to complete a task, they may feel very apprehensive. You may find yourself feeling so anxious when asked to sing a song or operate a device, for instance. This occurs because of the fear of failure or the fear of being laughed at or criticized, resulting from your feeling of inadequacy and belief that you cannot perform the task.

4. Craving for Attention

An individual with inferiority complex has a strong need to be loved and validated. Inferiority complex robs an individual of a healthy sense of self and sense of worth, so they seek to receive validation from others. These people usually need to be flattered and are dependent on such flattery for their happiness. They may pretend to be ill or unhappy so as to get attention or cheer from others.

5. Increased sensitivity

People with inferiority complex are highly sensitive to what others do, think, or say about them. They do not take compliments or criticisms well and may become overly aggressive when they are criticized. This occurs because such critical comments about them reinforce their own thoughts about themselves, and in trying to defend or protect themselves, they become aggressive or overly emotional.

6. Easily Feeling Disrespected

Individuals with inferiority complex often neglect their needs and emotions in order to be liked by others. They put their needs last so as to continue receiving attention from others. You may find yourself tolerating several episodes of abuse from your relationship partner, for instance. This is usually a result of your lack of self-esteem and poor boundaries.

Inferiority Complex

Five Tips for Raising Self Esteem

At the core of the manifestations of inferiority complex is a low self-esteem and until this is addressed, you may continue to experience those thoughts and emotions of inadequacy. Here are some ways of building your self-esteem and becoming a more confident person:

1. Practice Self-Compassion

One of the key steps to feeling less inferior to others and more confident about yourself is being kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone fails and it takes getting back up and trying again to succeed. Having this at the back of your mind will reduce the anxiety and depression you feel when you make a mistake. Be happy when you make a mistake and learn from it so it can be avoided in the future. You need to realize that some weaknesses are not abnormal and are completely surmountable. If you define yourself by your mistakes or past failures, you may find it difficult surpassing those barriers to achieve further successes.

2. Recognize your strengths.

One thing a low self-esteem does to an individual is to make their weaknesses overwhelming. People with inferiority complex usually focus a lot on what they can’t do well and less on what they are capable of doing. If you focus on the things you are good at, whether it is singing, writing, cooking, or talking, you will find that you get better at doing such things and you will feel much better and much more confident about yourself.

3. Form Positive Relationships

You should avoid people who tend to bring you down or who constantly say demeaning things about or to you. Choose to build friendships with people who identify and bring out the best in you. Move with people who build your strengths and who will help you become a better person.

4. Practice Assertiveness

Assertiveness involves setting boundaries in your relationship with others. It involves respecting other people’s needs and opinions and expecting that yours be respected as well. Some examples of being assertive include standing up for yourself, letting go of toxic friendships, and stating your needs confidently. The more assertive you are, the more people will respect you and the better you will feel about yourself.

5. Learning to say “No”

People with a poor self-esteem typically fall into the trap of agreeing to everyone’s demands. They do this, not because they want to, but because they do not want to lose their friendship with others. Learning to say “No” is a great way of being assertive and making your own needs clear to others. In time, others will learn to respect you, your time, your space, and so on because you clearly stated your boundaries. This will also make you feel better about yourself.

Should you seek outside Help?

While it is possible for you to manage your feelings of inferiority by changing your attitudes and behavior on your own, you may need the help of support groups and therapy.

Support Groups

Support groups provide you with the right environment and emotional support to overcome the feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. In these groups, you will meet with and learn from people who have experienced the feelings of inferiority in the past.


Cognitive behavioral therapy may be initiated for you if you have inferiority complex. The therapist will recommend strategies for you to modify your behavior, emotions, and thoughts for you to overcome the feelings of inferiority and become a more confident person.

How to Find a Therapist

Your primary care physician will refer you to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist for therapy. You may also ask friends and family for good therapists, or check through online resources and directory to find the right therapist for you.

What should I be looking for in a Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP)?

Qualities you should look for in an LMHP include:

  • Good Communication Skills: An effective LMHP should be able to effectively communicate their expert ideas about how you can overcome this feeling of inferiority.
  • Empathy: You do not want a counselor who would rush through medical facts without considering your emotional needs. You need an LMHP that is considerate, patient, calm, and compassionate with you.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Your chosen LMHP must be knowledgeable enough to help you through to a satisfactory resolution of your symptoms. While the outcome is not entirely up to your counselor, they must demonstrate ample ability to help manage your symptoms effectively.
  • Good multicultural Relationship: Your counselor must be able to strike a strong patient-therapist relationship with you irrespective of your racial, ethnic, or cultural differences. Therapy must be devoid of such prejudices which may hamper on the effectiveness of treatment.

Questions to ask a Potential Therapist

You should ask a potential therapist the following questions to help you gain more insight into your symptoms and the scope of your treatment options.

  • Why do I feel and act the way I do?
  • Am I having inferiority complex?
  • Are these behavioral patterns long-lasting or transient?
  • Can I overcome this feeling of inferiority?
  • Is therapy necessary?
  • How long will therapy be for, it necessary?
  • Are there any resources or websites you recommend?


Inferiority complex is a pathological feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt which stems from a low self-esteem. People with inferiority complex usually have this imagined or real feeling of being below others in social, psychological, physical, or intellectual terms. You can overcome this feeling by deliberately changing your behavior, thoughts, and belief system. This will make you appreciate your uniqueness and feel more confident about yourself.








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What is Online Therapy?

Times are changing and so is therapy. It used to be that clients had to take a couple of hours out of their busy day to fit in a trip to the therapist. But today, with advances in online communication and security, a whole new way of getting help has become available.  Learn more about the world of online therapy and what it can do to help you become a better you.

What is Online Therapy?

Online therapy, also known as telepsychology, telemental health, internet therapy, or online-counseling,  is a growing trend in the behavioral health world. Through online therapy, mental health providers are able to work with clients using therapeutic interventions over the internet. Online therapy can be offered via video, telephone, and texting. This new therapy platform is becoming more popular because it offers the same benefits of traditional therapy while adding in the convenience factor.

Benefits of Online Therapy

Online Therapy

There are many benefits to online therapy which explains why this is a rapidly growing platform among consumers.  When it comes to therapy it is easy to come up with reasons to not to seek help. The most common reasons include not having enough time, the stigma associated with therapy, the cost to see a therapist, and not being able to find the right therapist. Online therapy solves these problems and makes accessing a therapist as easy as logging onto your computer or phone. The convenience factor is huge when it comes to online therapy.


The most common reason for not seeking therapy is time. People are busy, life happens, and when you add additional stressors, therapy is unfortunately not a priority. Online therapy eliminates the hassle of traveling to an office because it is available wherever you are on your phone or computer.  Beyond that, you are far more likely to be able to find a therapist after hours through an online platform, meaning you can make it to your appointments without missing work or school.  Best of all, you can attend sessions from the comfort of your own home.

No Stigma

When it comes to medical diagnoses people never question when a person needs to go to the doctor. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health, there is still a lot of stigma associated with therapy.  Because of this stigma, people are often worried about seeking therapy in an office setting for fear they may run into someone they know.  Online therapy helps solve this problem. You can privately have a session with your therapist without leaving your couch or wherever you feel most comfortable. No more worrying about running into a coworker or friend while walking into the therapist’s office.


Many people complain that they have a hard time finding the right person that fits what they need from a therapist.  This process could be compared to dating, since you may have to see a few therapists before you find the most compatible one.  When it comes to online therapy, you can quickly scan the provider’s bios, see their pictures, professional experience, and reviews. With all of this information at your fingertips, you can more easily find the best therapist for you.  Even better, there is a wider selection available because you aren’t restricted to searching for providers within driving distance.


Another great benefit of online therapy is that there are so many more options available.  You are no longer restricted to distance or stuck with your health insurance provider’s coverage. You can select the option that best fits your needs.  Online therapy offers a vast range of therapy options including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Even peer support groups!

This broadens your selection and allows you access to many different options you might not have through traditional therapy. More options mean more opportunities to find the right therapist and the right help for you.

Could I Benefit From Therapy?

Types of Online Therapy and Counseling

There are many different types of online counseling available, including email, telephone calls, chat rooms, video conferencing, and texting. All of these offer similar benefits, but the best-proven option is currently to use video sessions.

Video Sessions

Video counseling has proven to be the most effective form of online therapy because it provides a similar experience to traditional therapy while taking out the inconveniences associated with in-office treatment. There have been many studies that show video counseling is extremely beneficial for clients.  Therapists are able to build the same relationship with you as if you were in their office.

The most important part of therapy is empathy and understanding non-verbal cues, and video conferencing works great for this as well.   You can still have that personal connection of seeing and interacting with your therapist as if they were in the same room, but now in your own comfortable space using the internet for your session.


Phone or audio only is another popular option for online therapy. This gives many of the same benefits as video conferencing but without the option to see the other person. Although still effective, teletherapy is missing the face to face interaction that you want when seeking therapy. One strategy some therapists use is to supplement video-conferencing with teletherapy. If you usually do video sessions with your therapist and find yourself going out of town and leaving wifi behind, a teletherapy session is a great way to bridge the gap. That way you don’t have to miss out on taking care of you.

Texting Therapy

Another option that is available to clients is texting therapy. While it has the convenience factor, it is considered less effective as a stand-alone method. Texting loses some of the most personal parts of communication. It may be a fast, easy option but is probably not be the best method of therapy. Your therapist uses many different methods when working with you to understand you and the challenges you face. Texting is often very impersonal and can at times even make things worse, especially if you face problems like social anxiety.

Texting Therapy

Video conferencing has proven to be the most effective form of online therapy because it can function in almost all of the same ways as traditional therapy. Texting therapy has a much smaller research foundation, and much of its value is unproven so far. In fact, there is only one study supporting the effectiveness of texting therapy as a stand-alone treatment method, published on a commercial website by just a single researcher. So while this is becoming a more common method, it’s important to understand the risks.

Styles of therapy

There are many different approaches to therapy. A therapist typically has one style they like to utilize throughout their practice.  During your first conversation, it can be helpful to ask your therapist what their style of therapy is and decide if that style will work for you.   A good fit is easier to achieve if you know a little more about what might work best for your situation.  Just like there are specialties in medicine for treating certain kinds of physical problems, there are specialties in therapy for resolving certain kinds of life problems. If the style doesn’t fit quite right, most therapists will be happy to help you find someone who does. Here are some of the more common styles you’ll see.


CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is a  very common form of therapy used to treat a broad range of concerns. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be beneficial with many challenges such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders as well as problems like tough relationships, bad sleep, and loss.  CBT is a problem-focused therapy, which means it looks at the specific problem that you’re facing and then helps find and use new coping skills to help with that problem.  Research has shown that CBT can lead to significant improvements in coping and quality of life and can lead to change in your life.


Psychodynamic therapy is a close cousin to the old method of psychoanalysis. It works by helping to interpret the subconscious workings of your mind. A psychodynamic therapist will help you to go through some of the more important events in your life, and see how these shape the challenges you face today.  The goal is to use this information to uncover the workings of your unconscious mind and to see the things that might have slipped by you. Psychodynamic therapy can be great for you if you’re looking to understand yourself more deeply and face challenges that seem unending or insurmountable.


Person-centered therapy is almost exactly what it sounds like. The therapist’s goal is to help you find your own direction and solutions to your problems throughout therapy. The relationship between you and your therapist is key to this process and is actually used to help you heal and grow.  Here, your therapist will work as a guide or a coach, and you will face your challenges as a team. Through a process of listening, empathy, and feedback, a person-centered therapist puts you in the driver’s seat.  By meeting you as an equal, your therapist helps you regain autonomy and control and helps you to overcome your problems. You have choices and together with your therapist, you can guide the direction of your own therapy.

What Can Online Therapy Help With?

Online therapy can be used to treat all different kinds of problems ranging from anxiety and depression to relationship issues and work-related stress. Online therapy has proven to be just as beneficial if not more so than traditional face to face. Some studies even indicate people are more satisfied with online therapy.  So online therapy not only offers all of the same benefits of traditional therapy, it also offers greater convenience and flexibility

It’s important to remember though that online therapy is not necessarily a complete replacement for traditional therapy. Individuals suffering from more severe disorders or who experience frequent thoughts of self-harm or suicide may not be well suited for this type of therapy.

However, as time goes on, major hospital networks and other healthcare providers are beginning to integrate online capabilities into the physical healthcare environment, allowing them to consult with experts in rural areas or areas where there simply are not enough therapists to fully meet demand. Combined with the physical presence of healthcare staff, online therapy is making headway in helping to solve even some of the most severe mental health problems and emergencies.

Online TherapyFinding the Right Platform

There are many options available to you when looking for an online therapist. Therapy delivery systems you may encounter can be divided into three basic categories: networks, platforms, and individual practices.

Networks for online therapy are similar to the networks you might find through your insurance company or local hospital group. Therapists are employed by the network, with standardized intake forms, scheduling formats, and billing. The network handles the majority of the administrative work, up to and sometimes including the assignment of clients to therapists. Networks tend to have the least amount of flexibility.

Platforms work a bit differently. Similar to companies like Uber and AirBnB, online therapy platforms work as a kind of marketplace for connecting clients and therapists. You can go to these sites and look through therapists bios and ratings, allowing you to find the person who will be the best fit for you. Like networks, platforms generally have a standardized intake process and billing system but allow the therapists and clients much greater flexibility in scheduling and the types of therapy available. This model also allows therapists to provide their services at much lower rates than those found in traditional therapy practices or networks.

Individual practices are built and owned by the therapist themselves and are not connected to other platforms or networks. Many therapists offer services online as an outgrowth of their traditional practices. Typically these practices will use Skype or other sites to facilitate therapy. Because the therapist runs the operation themselves, there tend to be higher rates involved. The upside is that therapists can also provide there services in virtually any way mutually agreed upon with their clients.

Ethics of Online Therapy and Counseling

Anyone practicing online therapy is bound by the same code of ethics as traditional therapy.  No matter where a therapist has their practice in they must adhere to the same standards dictated by their state licensing authority, as well as the standards set by their professional organizations. Your therapist should be able to show you and help you to understand their credentials at any time.

Online Therapist Code of Ethics

Telemental health services are held to the same standard as in-person therapy. All the same state regulations, rules, and code of ethics apply no matter what platform of therapy is being used.  Your therapist is responsible for understanding every aspect of using online services, as well as for ensuring your safety and the security of your information.


Confidentiality is always protected no matter how you get your therapy services.  Online therapy is no exception. One thing to remember, however, is that the online therapy can suffer from the same vulnerabilities as the rest of the internet. Hackers and malware happen.  Your therapist should make every reasonable effort to protect and maintain the confidentiality of your information. Your therapist also needs to keep you informed about the potential risks to privacy of using online services. You can do your part as well by making sure you use trusted internet connections and keep your security software up to date.


While most information in therapy must legally be kept confidential, there are a small number of exceptions. If the therapist believes there is an immediate danger of serious self-harm or suicide, confidentiality may be broken for the purposes of informing emergency healthcare services. Therapists are also required by law to report incidents of child abuse or abuse of the elderly. Finally, in some states, therapists have a legal “duty to warn.” This means they are required to contact others if a client shows a serious intent to harm another person. Though these exceptions are fairly uncommon, you therapist will cover them in detail during your first meeting.

Online Therapy


Sometimes a therapist is just not able to provide the right services. This can be for many reasons, from a bad fit in the therapeutic relationship to the need for a higher level of care. In any case, your therapist should always be able to evaluate the situation and ensure that they can make the right referrals if you need a change or more care than they can provide.

Honest Representation

Therapists are required by law to tell the truth and give an accurate account of the care they can provide. That means they should hold an active state license in their specialty, and be able to show proof upon request. It’s important to ask for and be clear about what your therapist can do before beginning therapy. Every state also has a website where you can check out your therapist by name or license number. this can also help you figure out if someone is the right therapist for you.

Security and Privacy in Online Therapy

One of the major concerns with the internet is always security. This concern is even more important if you’re using the internet to obtain healthcare services. While most providers will make every effort to keep your information confidential, there may still be some small amount of risk to your privacy. To help mitigate these risks, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Telemedicine Association have published guidelines for online therapy providers to follow. Here are some things look for to help guard against data breach.

HIPAA and Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is the primary federal law protecting the privacy of healthcare information. Later legislation has supplemented and helped extend those guidelines into the online space. Therapists are required to follow these laws in protecting your information.

In addition, there are further laws that govern the protection of therapy notes and substance abuse treatment specifically, making it some of the most carefully protected information out there. Other than the previously mentioned exceptions, the only other way to legally obtain your records would be by court order.

With the legal bar set so high, providers are very careful to maintain compliance. Many organizations use third-party automated auditing services to help meet these standards, in addition to mandated regular training for providers. Compliance information should be easily found on the home page of any site you choose to use for your therapy.


Beyond standard HIPAA compliance, many organizations are now also adding encryption to their communication systems. Encryption is basically a way of scrambling a signal, making it unreadable to anyone but the sender and the recipient. While there are many different ways of encrypting data, they all share the basic advantage of making it nearly impossible for messages to be intercepted and deciphered by a third party. This protects you because it means that what is said between you and your therapist stays between you and your therapist.

Server Security

Server security is another important part of secure online therapy. Servers are traffic management systems, directing all of the different messages and work that may be going through a particular online system. They can also store information, and so protecting them is a high priority for any online company. The level of server security can be a bit tougher to find out, but there should be at least a brief statement on your therapist’s site. If a third party is used to provide security, that information should also be available.

Medical Records

Medical records are the primary target of HIPAA. If your therapist is following all of the guidelines mentioned here, then your medical records should be safe and secure.

What You Can Do

Most elements of security discussed so far have had to do with your therapist’s role. But you have a part to play, too. Keeping up to date with your operating system and antivirus software should help keep your information safe from prying eyes. Also, be sure to use unique passwords for your accounts and be careful not to share your login information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online therapy legitimate?

Online therapy is very legitimate. Online therapists are held to the same standard as any other therapy professional. The same licensures, privacy rules, and ethics all apply whether therapy is provided in an office, over the phone, or through video conference. Therapists should have their state-issued credentials readily available. If not, it’s usually better to move on to someone else.

Is online therapy covered by insurance?

Coverage can vary. There are some plans that are offer coverage for online therapy through video conferencing. Phone/text therapy is not something covered by health plans. It is best to check with your insurance carrier directly to find out more about your benefits.

How effective is online therapy?

Online therapy has proven to be very effective, especially video therapy. The benefits of online therapy are well researched and documented. Of all the telemental health options available, video therapy is generally very secure and proven to be the most effective.

Is online therapy expensive?

Pricing will vary depending on a number of factors. The cost will depend on what style of services you’re looking for and what platform the therapist is connected to. Some sites offer subscription style services, while others bill by the therapy hour.  In general, however, online therapy tends to be much more affordable than traditional therapy.

The Growth of Online Counseling

The internet has massively transformed the world around us since it’s arrival. Now it’s transforming the way we reach out to each other and get help. Online therapy is a new way of getting the help you’ve always wanted but didn’t know how to get. Therapy has been changing lives for decades, and now it’s here in a way that anyone can reach for.

Click Here to Try Therapy in the Palm of Your Hand

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Find Your Inner Hero with a Mind, Body & Soul Connection


Navigating through life isn’t always a straight route of health and happiness. Life twists and turns… and veers off course more than you might like. Sometimes you may find yourself lost, stumbling onto a path of self-destruction or dysfunction. Or maybe you’re traversing through tough terrain with the wrong equipment. But every woman has a hero who can save her and get her back on track. It may just take a little work to discover that this hero is — herself.

You have the power and resilience to overcome any battle. You can heal your wounds. Shine and prosper. But it’s an interconnection of the mind, body and soul that creates this power. Positive intentions, treating the body well and being in tune with yourself all support your ability to stay strong and thrive among the chaos. The following provides insight on this trifecta of wellness, so you can uncover ways to grow your mind-body-soul connection, bring balance to your life, and unleash your inner hero.

The Mind, Body, and Soul Connection


“Our thoughts are just as powerful as our words,” says Lauren Unger, certified holistic health coach and Mind Body Green contributor. “What we think, we become.” If your thoughts and perceptions are negative and judgmental, then your world will suddenly seem against you. If you judge and think poorly of yourself, you have become your own worst enemy. Over time, this way of thinking becomes so habitual that it becomes your reality. As you start to regularly see the world through a negative lens, your mental health can start to break. Then stress, disorder or worries of daily life fill these cracks creating a harmful foundation. Once you invite emotional states like anxiety and depression into your life, your physical health becomes at risk, from toxic eating to loss of sleep. But you can cope with mental stressors like anxiety and depression by caring for your mind with gentleness. Meditate, go outdoors, cook a homemade meal or journal to soothe your head.

One way to take the wheel to drive your life toward good mental health (rather than idly watch life go by from the passenger’s seat) is to live with intention. First, let your mind wander. This place of aimlessness can actually provide direction, leading you to self-discovery. To live intentionally, ask:

  • Where do you choose to expend your energy?
  • What types of relationships do you want to grow?
  • Who do you want near your heart?
  • How will you respond to challenge, stress or anxiety?
  • What truly matters to you?

Answers to these questions can provide a blueprint for better mental wellness. The mind is powerful. It just takes practice and the will to eliminate threats and construct thoughts that help you live your best life.


Just like we need to care for our mind, to care for our body, we need to do the reverse as well. Nurture your mind by nourishing your body. In cognitive terms, Harvard Health Publishing of Harvard Medical School puts it like this: What you put into your body affects your brain’s structure, function and mood. For example, refined sugars worsen symptoms of mood disorders and depression. Sinking your teeth into that cupcake will give you a high, but your mood will quickly plummet. Nutrient-filled fuel (like nuts, salmon, leafy greens and berries) will enhance your mental health more steadily.

It’s also important to nourish your body with endorphins. Get your heart rate up and exercise to fire off those feel-good hormones. The American Psychological Association refers to this as the “exercise effect:” moving the muscles benefits mental health, says Jennifer Carter, PhD. There’s an undeniable link between your mood and exercise. You feel good and energized after a workout, and more active people are less depressed in the long run. It also serves as a meaningful activity, providing a sense of accomplishment. Explore different ways to move that you enjoy. Find a challenge in training for a half marathon. Experience confidence or calmness through yoga. Build both mental and physical strength by weight training — or use hiking as an opportunity for social connection with others who love the outdoors. Fitness isn’t one size fits all.


Seeking vitality and wholeness completes the trio of wellness. It’s just as important to enliven your spirit with meaning and purpose as it is to care for your mind and honor your body. A thriving soul creates soundness and harmony. But it takes work to reach spiritual health, and it may be the most neglected area of self-care. Reflection, values and beliefs, compassion and empathy, acting for the welfare of others and living with grace among any adversity cultivate spiritual health. A fulfilled soul supports the ability to cope with mental distress, as well as shape our bodies into a strong, well-functioning structure.

Nourishing the soul can start by learning to let go. Free your mind of negative clutter to make room for peace, comfort and hope. Look deep within to discover purpose, which can relieve stress over the small things and foster self-worth. If you can see something great in yourself and greater than yourself, everyday problems and fears may pale in comparison to more meaningful aspects of life important to you. Seek supportive relationships that bring out your best self. Embrace gratitude and forgiveness. Chase change and opportunity. Be open to new people and experiences. Giving more attention to these emotional states will heal and grow your soul.

You Don’t Have to Journey Alone

Despite a diet overhaul or some soul searching, sometimes talking to a professional helps strengthen the mind-body-soul connection the most, which results in a healthy and better mind, body, and soul or spirit. A therapist can help you navigate your journey toward intention and mindfulness. Therapy serves as a tool for seeing food as nutrition, and not as a coping mechanism. Therapy can provide accountability for treating your body well with movement and activity. You can find a partner in exploring your spiritual core.

Take action on your health mentally, physically and spiritually! With professional support from ThriveTalk, you can find your inner superhero. Talk to a therapist today to help you on how to make your mind, body, and spirit work together and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle to balance your mind, body, and soul.

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Perfect Isn’t Real: Why the Body Positive Movement Is so Important


The world tells us an overwhelming amount about how we should view ourselves. We hear feedback about our bodies constantly. Eat better. Eat less. Tone up. Slim down. Ask for the dressing on the side.

The media glorifies one type of “perfect” body. Friends and co-workers talk. And let’s be honest, you’ve been self-conscious in a swimsuit since you were 9.

Rarely do people — women especially — express love for their bodies because we’re conditioned not to. We’re taught, though subtly, to pick apart our flaws and to shame our bodies (and other’s). This self-hatred epidemic ignited the body positivity movement.

What’s the Body Positive Movement?

The definition of being “body positive” is accepting the idea that all bodies are beautiful and valuable. The movement says you alone, not everyone else should decide what feels good.

Throughout the 20th century, beauty standards shifted drastically — from Marilyn Monroe’s curves and iconic hourglass shape to Twiggy’s tiny, rail-thin frame. Today, a fit culture is trending in which muscle definition and strength become markings of a desirable body. Corinne Santiago behind BodyPositivity.com says, no moment in time was ever inclusive of all bodies. The body positivity movement was born in the 1960s and has had a recent resurgence. It aims to celebrate all body types and sizes — inclusive of all genders, ages, races, people with disabilities and those of diverse sexual orientation.

Can I Be Body Positive?

Yes. Anyone can! It seems there is more pressure on women than men to have perfect bodies, but the movement includes men too, as well as those who identify outside our gender binary norms. At this point in our culture, there is also more pressure on plus-size women.

BuzzFeed recently gave a voice to five women who are black and body positivity influencers on the pro-plus-size scene. These leaders represent what it means to be big, yet “also seen as beautiful, intelligent, desired, loved,” says Lauren Nicole Coppin-Campbell, blogger and plus-size model.

Wait, So Is This the Same as the Fat Acceptance Movement?

No, but we get why you might get them confused.

Fat body positivity can be misunderstood as critics condemn the movement as an excuse for being obese. Body positivity, however, is rooted in loving your body and gaining self-confidence, rather than trying to replicate a prototype specially crafted by society. That could mean a curvier, heavier body or a straight and narrow body, as both types can yield self and outside judgement.

The movement encourages everyone to lovingly accept stretch marks, cellulite or sagging skin, which have nothing to do with the number on the scale. This is a movement that doesn’t try to normalize obesity but invites people to dare to like what they see in the mirror.

Does the Media Influence This?

You betcha. Think about how women in the media are portrayed. Petite, not disabled and light-skinned are what society has decided is attractive. Consider Victoria’s Secret Angels and Guess Girls, for example — women we’ve seen in ads and on billboards and on talk shows so many times we subconsciously think we too can be like that with a little work. Men experience it too. Not every guy looks like the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine but they sure are encouraged to strive for it.

Businesses like diet programs and gyms and fashion brands thrive off this idea of achievability because it makes you buy more stuff from them. Some businesses have even been accused of taking it too far for sales purposes. Of course, there are also brands who do good with their message. Body positivity campaigns from brands like Dove and Aerie feature models who aren’t photoshopped and promote self-acceptance and diversity.

How About Social Media?

Of course. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter — social media is a perfect storm for a digital space that empowers body self-confidence, as well as perpetuates people feeling like they don’t measure up.

About 500 million people use Instagram daily and 1.37 billion active users on average log onto Facebook every day. Every account, every post, every photo makes an imprint on another person in some capacity.

Social media can become a home for people to connect with others and find support — a place where a powerful message can go viral. Instagram sensations like model and body activist Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence, NEDA ambassador and AerieReal Role Model, garner millions of followers who scroll through positive images and messages about body liberation. Following someone whom a person can relate and look up to can make such a difference in their own self-perception.

But it can also be a toxic environment. In the pursuit to live better and healthily, people follow fitness and food accounts. “Fitspo” and clean eating photos can have the reverse effect though, deepening people’s body insecurities and creating reactions of emotional self-judgment. A survey of social media users conducted by researchers for Spring Open Choice found that social media has “negative effects on body image, depression, social comparison and disordered eating.” Instagram users interested in eating healthily have been linked to orthorexia nervosa, a detrimental obsession with healthy eating.

This Is Cool. Where Can I Find More About This?

This movement to free people from societal ideals about the size and fight inequities that make certain bodies worthier than others is important! Organizations and platforms like The Body Positivity, The Body Image Project, The Adipositivity Project and BodyPositivity.com took action and gave a voice, as well as a supportive community, to all who suffer from low self-esteem and body discrimination.

Choose Body Positivity

Choose to bravely love your body. It’s an everyday struggle to stop hating your body. Every day you have to make the choice to shift your perspective. If you need help with low self-esteem or body consciousness, there’s always a listening ear and professional support available. Connect with a certified therapist at Thrivetalk.

Uncover ways to grow the connection between your mind, body, and soul. Work out and eat well to be kind to your body and nourish your soul. Stand up for social equality in body size and shape. Surround yourself with people who believe in your ideals on body positivity in a community where people boost one another up rather than tear each other down.


5 Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies That Cause Depression


Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body and mind to function correctly, but many people have low levels of these crucial nutrients in the body. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a wide range of physical problems, but they can also affect mental health and may even be the cause of depression, anxiety disorders and low mood in some people. Here are five vitamin and mineral deficiencies that could be causing your distress.

Vitamin D

Studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to depression and some chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune disease. Vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb calcium, but many people are not getting enough. Modern lifestyles are thought to be at least partly responsible for low levels of vitamin D, which is produced in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Working long hours in offices with artificial lighting, sedentary lifestyles, and even excessive use of sunscreen are all thought to contribute to vitamin D deficiency. Supplements may be the only solution for people, as it’s difficult to obtain vitamin D from food.

B Vitamins

Low levels of B vitamins are known to cause depression, irritability, and fatigue. In particular, vitamins B6, B12, and folate are one of the nutritional deficiencies that can cause anxiety and depression and have been linked to a wide range of mental and physical health problems. Increasing intake of foods containing these essential nutrients can bring significant improvements for some people. Vitamin B6 is found in chicken, leafy green vegetables, bananas and some kinds of seafood, while people usually can get their B12 from animal products such as poultry, meat, and dairy products. Liver, citrus fruits, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, and yeast extract contain folate. Vegetarians, vegans, and people on restrictive diets may need to take a vitamin B complex supplement.


Iron deficiency can cause a range of symptoms similar to those of depression, including mental and physical fatigue, low mood and irritability. In fact, there have been studies regarding the relationship between iron deficiency and depression in which iron deficiency is more common in women than in men. Up to half of all pregnant women thought to have low levels of iron. Liver, red meat, poultry, and fish are the best sources of iron. However, pregnant women should avoid liver, as it contains high amounts of vitamin A, which can be harmful to unborn children. Vegetarian sources of iron include beans, pulses, and fortified cereals.


Selenium is a mineral with potent antioxidant properties. It is essential for mental health, a healthy metabolism and healthy thyroid function. Insufficient levels of selenium might contribute to depression, persistent low mood, and negative thoughts. Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium, but it also is in walnuts, chicken, beef, fish, and whole grains. Supplements are available, but they can interact with some prescription medications, including birth control pills, corticosteroids, and medicines used to reduce cholesterol levels, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking selenium supplements.


Magnesium is often known as the relaxation mineral, as it has a powerful impact on mood and the nervous system. It is necessary for the proper functioning of almost every process in the body. However, up to half of all adults are thought to be deficient in this essential mineral, the shortage of which can lead to depression, anxiety, migraine, high blood pressure and several chronic health conditions. Spinach, dark chocolate, oily fish, bananas, and almonds are all rich in magnesium. Supplements are safe for most people, but high doses (above 500 mg) can interact with some medications.

Avoiding Depression

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, sometimes associated with depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, also can lead to many chronic health conditions. Vitamin D, B vitamins, iron, selenium, and magnesium are all needed for mental health. While most people can get enough of these nutrients through diet or supplements, serious deficiencies may require medical treatment.


Five Steps to a Calm Mind


At times, you need to calm your mind and enjoy peace and freedom from stress. Everyday situations can make you anxious and put you under pressure, so it’s best to know how to relax and soothe the worried voice in your head. Follow these five steps to serenity, and you’ll know what to do when fretfulness strikes.

Ways to Calm the Mind

1. Take deep breaths

Your emotions and physique are linked, so when your body relaxes, so does your mind. Taking deep, slow breaths down to your belly region sends a signal to your brain that all is well. After all, you don’t naturally breathe this way when you’re scared or anxious. However, you can choose to control your breath no matter how you’re feeling. If you have an anxiety disorder, simple deep breathing exercises are calming techniques for anxiety.

2. Accept all thoughts

The frightened or critical voice within might tell you everything’s wrong, but it’s not really in control of you. Realize you can take charge of the messages your mind sends you. The way to do so probably isn’t how you imagine. Instead of fighting unwanted thoughts, you need to accept them to make them fade.

When negative thoughts arise, allow them to flow, but mentally take a step back, as though you’re listening to someone else speak. Your detachment will let you separate your emotions from the content of your thoughts, so they don’t affect you.

3. Hone your attention

Just as you’re in charge of your inner voice, you also control where you place your attention. Focusing on negativity makes your unhappiness grow. Therefore, change your point of focus. You don’t have to try and think about fluffy clouds and kittens; just turn your attention to an absorbing task when worrying thoughts flow, and you’ll enjoy a break from concerns, calming the anxious mind.

4. Adopt a positive attitude

Your state of mind is a choice, as long as you’re consciously aware this is so. If you let your mind run riot and travel where it wants, sometimes, it will lead you down the path of negativity. Stay alert, though, mindfully following what you’re thinking about, and you can develop a positive attitude. Practicing mindfulness can also help you drive out all the negative thoughts. 

Notice those times when you entertain thoughts that produce dissatisfaction and anxiety, and stop them in their tracks. Pause and remember your intent to be positive. Ask yourself how to see matters from a different perspective that keep you calm and make you feel better.

5. Turn your thoughts outward

After you’ve followed the steps above, turn your thoughts to the environment. Pay attention to what’s going on around you rather than in your head. Use your senses to soak up information. Also, think about the people you interact with, and ponder what they might be thinking and feeling.

If the environment is not conducive to serenity, move away to a quiet place, preferably where nature resides. Observe the colors, scents, and sounds, and touch objects like leaves and the bark of trees and taste the air. Immersing yourself in your surroundings will shift your awareness and experience of the moment.


When you feel low, or just want a break from busy thoughts, take note of the tips above. As a result, your mind will be calm, and you’ll be in control of your mood instead of your mood being in control of you.