Talkspace is an online therapy platform which provides confidential as well as affordable therapy using its network of licensed therapists and professionals. The platform offers a revolutionary approach to people who are in need of mental health services which are of high quality. The therapy services are available for all clients across the country, and they can be text and video-based, which allows for great access for those who have a busy schedule or live to far away from a provider.
Besides the therapy services, Talkspace also has a blog open to the public, which features posts that include general information explaining aspects of mental health conditions, commentary on current events, or stories of change.
One story posted on the Talkspace blog comes from contributor Elizabeth Su, who talked about her struggles, and offered guide on boundaries and self-compassion. Su talked about how at an early age she became a people-pleaser, internalizing the pain of people around her and feeling like it was her responsibility to make them happy. Moreover, she points out her worries that if she wouldn’t do the right things, the people around her would ditch her or lose respect.
A contingent sense of self-worth, notes Elizabeth Su, is what researchers call the idea that people would only accept someone if they were perfect. She also notes that over the years, she learned that the tendencies to please people were as a result of her attempt to protect herself from the pain of rejection.
In the article posted on the Talkspace blog, she offered 5 ways that one can practice setting loving boundaries, as, according to research, practicing self-acceptance is step towards quieting one’s inner critic that is crucial. The first way outlined is giving yourself permission to say no, as some people experience a sense of fear or guilt over what might happen if they choose to refuse something. According to Rachel O’Neill, who is a therapist on the platform, putting your needs and taking care of yourself is okay.
The second tip mentioned is to tune into the emotional state, as it can provide clues on when is the right time to set boundaries. Dr O’Neill notes that people should be aware of when they are running on empty and when they need to take a step back in order to recharge. Recharging could simply mean not answering to phone calls or messages right away, or scheduling some free time in order to regroup.
The third step refers to practicing a loving-kindness meditation, which can mean focusing the attention inward on well-being, and then expanding the attention outward on a person who loves you. This form of meditation can be a method to increase feelings of love on days when you are feeling more sensitive.
The fourth step is watching out for self-sacrifice, which means taking note of when you choose to bend over backwards in order to do something for a person, agreeing to something when you don’t want to, or doing something out of obligation. Dr. O’Neill states that when someone says that they are doing things for other people constantly, that is a sign that boundaries need to be worked on.
The fifth and last tip outlined by the blog contributor is to ask for support. She notes that uncovering the root of the people-pleasing tendencies can be helped by working with a skilled therapist, and it can also help on developing tools in order to set boundaries in the everyday life. She does point out that during the journey there will be ups and down, feelings might get hurt and relationship severed, and while this new way of operating might provide discomfort, it’s important not to give up.