Believe it or not, there are Instagram accounts that promote self-care. Likewise, some mental health professionals have taken to social media to destigmatize therapy — as we’ve reported on in the past, young people especially seek out help for reasons such as panic and anxiety disorders, trauma, and toxic relationships. But, just because therapists have Instagrams of their own, doesn’t mean you can replace therapy with their posts. Licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Olivera wrote about this in an essay on Medium.
It’s not, as Lisa explained, “Insta-therapy.” It’s therapists posting on Instagram about therapy and encouraging others to find professionals to talk to if they’re comfortable. “Therapists on Instagram are not providing therapy on Instagram. We are not providing personalized care, individualized advice, or specific support,” she wrote.
“Therapists on Instagram acknowledge the fact that no square, post, or tool can capture the complexity of being human.”
Granted, sometimes finding a therapist is limiting (and intimidating), and sometimes you can’t afford the cost. That being said, Lisa added later in her essay that their presence on social media isn’t meant to be a replacement for speaking to a professional. “Instead, we provide resources, tools, insights, reminders, community, and support for people who are not in therapy, for people figuring out how to access therapy, and for people in therapy.”
Lisa continued, “Therapists on Instagram acknowledge the fact that no square, post, or tool can capture the complexity of being human.” They’re providing an inside look into what a session is like, opening up conversations, and helping people access the same type of support within themselves outside of therapy.
Lisa personally has received hundreds of messages from her Instagram followers (she has over 300,000) thanking her for the work she’s done on the platform. For some, it’s been the reason they’ve felt ready to seek therapy for themselves. Lisa also made a good point: mental health professionals openly sharing their expertise online isn’t anything new. For a while, therapists have been writing self-help books, speaking to classes and on podcasts, and contributing columns for publications. Now, they’re just simply using Instagram to offer that same insight.
With this in mind, we’ve included a list of therapists on Instagram you might want to follow. Check those out ahead, and remember: this isn’t therapy, but you could certainly still find it beneficial.