Still, as our back-and-forth winds down, I feel totally underwhelmed. Hokemeyer suggested, my Talktala experience feels like Self-Reflection Lite—it's not in-depth enough to provide any real insight.

Not for me, anyway—a therapy newbie might find Regina's advice illuminating.

They felt more like social outlets than mental health resources. Hokemeyer expresses major concern about sites like Blah Therapy, where "non-trained professionals [are] giving advice to other individuals.""There is just too much room for harm," he notes.

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My Therapy Couch rather charmingly calls itself a " social counseling site." So ...

it's like Facebook had a baby with a virtual shrink's office! Like Talktala, MTC features free forums where users can vent about their issues, but if you want real therapeutic guidance (aka "Direct Counseling") from a professional, you'll need to cough up some cash.

THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)OK, so the therapist's response seems a bit... I wasn't expecting much more, honestly, so I continue my exchange, explaining more details about my mental-health history.

It's weirdly gratifying each time I get an email notification alerting me to Regina's replies, and there is something freeing about anonymously spilling my guts with no sense of concern about how I "look" to the other person.

When she asks my age, however, I balk—it seems like Blah Therapy might be aimed at far younger folks than me.

Overall, my experiences on the sites were intriguing but not mind-blowing—none of the free forums felt equipped to help me dive into real issues.By entering the chat, you understand that Blah Therapy is not liable for any advice given."The first time I try to vent, to a "listener" called "Large-Capacity Mountain," I find it awkward—I can't tell if he/she/it is waiting for me to start, or if I should wait for an introduction, or what.After I post a brief monologue about feeling isolated, I can see that my new buddy is typing a response, but then my Internet connection drops off before I can catch a reply.to have that cozy, womb-like little room to heave myself into on a weekly basis.Therapy has become a customary part of my self-care song-and-dance, despite the sad truth that I haven't seen tons of progress when it comes to my struggles with depression, relationships, et al.I return a few days later, and finally I have a successful chat session with a member named "Special-Reward." I discover, after blabbing—again—about feeling isolated post-move, that my new friend is female, and all of 19. When I express frustration about not having tons of friends in my hometown, she commiserates, "I'm really shy too.