Jennifer is 34 years old, a proud mom and lives with her 13 year old daughter in Capelle aan den Ijssel. She is studying Social Work at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and will graduate next year! In addition to spending time with her daughter and being busy with her studies, she was also treated for her depression last year. She had a difficult time. Having suicidal thoughts and suicidal tendencies, made her do something about it. After registering with PsyQ, she was given the option for 100% online treatment and she said yes! We asked her how she experienced this.
What did you think when you first heard about 100% online treatment?
At first I felt some resistance. I have previously been treated for my borderline disorder and I do not like change. I was used to face to face conversations in the consultation room. Yet something in me said: say yes, just try it!
And how did you feel after the first conversation?
I gave it (online treatment) a try and (after the first conversation) I thought it was good! If I hadn’t liked it, I would just have stopped. But I liked it immediately. The thing is, I did not have to go to a physical location. I could do the sessions from work, I would book a meeting room and I would take some time for myself. Of course, I mentioned it at work and they were very helpful! They thought it was nice. After all, it was also for my own development, which they in return could benefit from.
Can you tell something more about your treatment? For example, how often did you talk to your practitioner?
I started in February and completed my treatment in June. I had video contact with my practitioner Feline on a weekly basis and if I was having a hard time I had the option to send a chat message. As soon as Feline had time, she would respond to the chat message and check if I wanted to call.
Have you ever had contact between sessions?
Once I was really having a rough time, I had experienced something bad at college and sent a message about it. Feline did not respond right away, but I still liked the fact that I could send the message immediately. Especially because I was able to express my feelings at that time, I did not keep walking around with them. Normally, if you are in regular treatment, you have to call to get something of your chest and that is usually not possible. However, I was reassured that I could send a message knowing that I would receive an answer. When she responded, she asked if she should call me, but it was no longer needed. Talking about it via chat was enough at that moment.
Did the video call or the contact via the app not feel impersonal?
I must admit, I actually found my earlier “traditional” treatment less personal… I did not feel a connection, it felt more like an obligation, also for my practitioner back then. When I did traditional treatment, I did not have the feeling that I was being heard if you know what I mean. With Feline it was different, I felt that she was there, that she understood me and she always kept asking. Even though we were not together in a physical space, even though it was online. I think online is actually better.
How did you use the NiceDay app, in addition to video calling and chatting?
I kept my schedule in the app. Also regarding nutrition, because I sometimes tend to skip meals. In addition, I registered my mood in the app: how did I feel during the day? And what effect did certain events have on my mood? If I felt bad in the morning and in the evening I felt fine, I could see why that was. I saw small improvements, day by day. But sometimes also even during the day!
Would you recommend a treatment via NiceDay to others?
Hell yes! Taking the first step is scary but give it a chance. It helped me so well! I am glad that this option exists and I hope it will become more known so that more people can be helped.