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Mental Health

5 “Instagram Therapists” to Follow for World Mental Health Day

For two years now, I’ve been seeing a therapist to heal from past traumas and also to regularly have an intentional space for an hour a week to deal with the parts of life that I struggle with and the occasional blind-siding event. It’s been an integral part of my weeks over the past couple years and I am grateful to be able to afford to pursue this kind of healing. However, as much as I’d like to say that the healing is only pursued in that one hour every week, the majority of the work that gets done happens in every other hour outside of therapy when you’re supposed to be practicing the things you learned and being mindful. This is the part I struggle with the most.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, I figured I would share one of my resources for practicing healing in my everyday life. I stumbled upon “Instagram therapists” accidentally, on my Explore feed one day. I now follow quite a few accounts and it has been extremely helpful in reminding me to stay mindful and for giving me that little push to keep practicing healing on a daily basis. Most of them have actual therapy practices in real life and have received training and education in psychotherapy. If you’re in search of a little positivity or a little boost on your Instagram feed, I’ve compiled a list of five “Instagram therapists” to follow for exactly that.

Disclaimer: Instagram therapists are not a substitute for actual therapy, and the therapists themselves acknowledge this on their feeds often. If you are in need of actual therapy or real help, please do not use these as a substitute. (Psychology Today has an excellent therapist finder if you need one!) These are intended to be a supplement to your healing, not the whole thing. If you are confused about what “Instagram therapists” are, this article, written by one of the therapists on this list, can explain a little about what they do and what their content is intended for.

@jordanpickellcounselling

Jordan Pickell is a licensed counsellor in Canada. She often posts little tidbits related to building healthy, mindful relationships with the people in your life. Occasionally, she’ll step out from behind the therapy posts and give little thoughts of her own on therapy, her own life and her identity as an “Instagram therapist.”

On becoming a therapist: “I was drawn to become a therapist because therapy worked for me (and still does). I want to push back against the idea that therapy is for other people, people who are in crisis, or people who have no one else to listen to their pain. Therapy is for everyone.”

@sitwithwhit

Whitney Goodman opened The Collaborative Counseling Center in Miami, Florida, two years ago and is an LMFT, or a licensed marriage and family therapist. She provides exactly that in her therapy posts and will also occasionally post about physical practices – like breathing exercises – you can engage in to help yourself feel calmer and practice mindfulness. I’ve often found these physical activities can be great in helping me feel like I’m actually doing something for my healing process.

On her therapy practice: “In my practice, I love to help couples and individuals who have experienced medical trauma or chronic illness find joy in their lives again. I’m also so passionate about making mental health information accessible through platforms like Instagram.”

@nedratawwab

Nedra Glover Tawwab founded a therapy practice in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her Instagram content focuses on building healthy relationships through identifying relationship patterns and your own empowerment.

On going to therapy: “People go to therapy for ongoing support. It’s not just for crisis management. It’s not just for people to talk about childhood, although it may come up. Therapy can be whatever you need it to be.⁣”

@millennial.therapist

This is one of my favorite accounts. Run by Sara Kuburić, she provides content with a millennial audience in mind, specializing in trauma, identity and relationships. She will also occasionally post about breathing techniques you can use. She is an “existential psychotherapist,” licensed in Canada and is also a researcher.

Why she is passionate about therapy: “I feel passionately about helping individuals raise self-awareness, reestablish a relationship with themselves and others, experience transformation and healing, and live a fulfilling life.”

@lisaoliveratherapy

This account is my favorite one. Lisa Olivera is also a LMFT but her posts cover a wide range of psychotherapy issues like building relationships, cultivating self-love and self-understanding and healing practices. I have found that she is most open about her own practices in her own therapy journey as well, which is really refreshing. Before following this account, I never considered that therapists also go to therapy as well. She’s been featured in a New York Times article on “Instagram therapists” and has also been a guest on several podcasts!

Why she is passionate about therapy: “I think that’s my favorite thing about this work, and maybe even about being a human in general: witnessing people’s overcoming, in big and small ways. Witnessing the fact that us humans are never defined or limited by what we’ve experienced. Witnessing the growth that happens when we simply practice believing we’re worthy of it. And, if it hasn’t come yet, holding onto hope for others that it will. My own journey reminds me of this every single day, and it’s such a gift to see it in others, too.”

@jangandfox

I know I said five, but we love a good surprise! An honorable mention is @jangandfox! This isn’t technically an “Instagram therapist” account, but is an Instagram account from a one-woman studio that does feature themes about mental health and portrays them in quirky, heartwarming cartoons of small animals. It’s a little cute, positive account to follow and support!

Happy World Mental Health Day! I hope this list can help bring a little bit of positivity and support to your Instagram feeds. In a world that is sometimes filled with a lot of pain and consistent reports about the negative impacts of social media, it can be helpful to have a reminder every once in awhile that these platforms can also be used as a positive force for healing and good.

Take care of yourselves, mind and body, out there.

Tiara Stephan

CU Boulder '20

Tiara is a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder double majoring in Psychology and Political Science. Outside of being one of the senior editors for CU Boulder's Her Campus chapter, she writes for the Music Desk of 303 Magazine, is involved in Alpha Phi Omega - Gamma Theta Chapter, a co-ed community service fraternity, and is a co-founder of Mixed CU, an organization dedicated to students with multicultural backgrounds. When Tiara's not studying or working, she can very frequently be found drinking copious amounts of English Breakfast Tea, talking about how incredulous dictionaries are, watching Saturday Night Live sketches, eating pho, and trying to convince herself that she can't just buy a plane ticket to Europe.
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