My Time With An “Instagram Therapist”
I have been in therapy, pretty consistently, for eight years. In that time, I’ve seen a few different therapists. Usually these are people that I’ve heard about from friends or even referrals from other practitioners.
But a couple years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith. I’d been working with my therapist for around 6 years and felt like it was time to shake it up. So, I googled for eating disorder therapists near where I lived at the time.
And next thing you know, I have an intake with a therapist that, apparently, everyone knows.
With thousands of Facebook friends and an Instagram following over 30k, it was impossible to have not at least have heard of her.
Naturally, I thought this would be the perfect situation. Someone who is known for helping people. Someone who thousands listen to. Someone who knows what they’re doing.
But looking back, her being “Insta Famous” led to block out a lot of red flags and boundary issues.
For example, we remained Facebook friends throughout our therapeutic relationship. Where I saw her post about things we did in session (with mention of the country I was abroad in at the time). Which means I often fielded texts from my friends in recovery telling me they knew about my session.
By the end of our time working together, I had edited her website, advised her on people to hire for her practice, and had heard about her trauma history.
All of a sudden, I felt a lot like this relationship for more beneficial for her business than it was for my mental health.
So, I terminated my relationship with her.
When I told people that I had stopped working with this therapist, they were SHOCKED. After all, I had gotten a chance to work one with one the most prominent therapists in the eating disorder world. How could I turn that away?
And the answer is simple. Because she’s a person. A person who a lot of people like to follow and quote. But still, just a person. Not a recovery fairy or the world’s greatest therapist.
I unfriended her on Facebook and I unfollowed her on Instagram. And I went back to my not famous but kickass therapist.
In reality, I got caught up in hype. And when I took off the rose colored glasses, I got cut by the glass.
Now, that part of my life serves as a reminder. That people are people. Regardless of they’re followers. They’re just imperfect humans trying to exist the best they can.