Therapy options for the geography- and internet-challenged
June 4, 2016 3:34 AM   Subscribe

Life's got me down. I would like to get some therapy. But I don't have access to flesh and blood therapists where I live and I don't have a reliable internet connection. What are my options?

I've written a little about my situation elsewhere on AskMeFi, but essentially things aren't great for me right now, I'm struggling a lot with anger management, and I think I need professional help. However I have moved countries right now and have a lot of difficulties accessing conventional treatment.

I think some counselling of some sort would do me good (and this was also suggested in the answers to the previous question I posted). It would be good to get some talk therapy to "let it all out" as it were and get some advice on how to deal with certain situations when they arise. (I assume that's how talk therapy works?) However there are no counselling services available in the city I currently live in.

Online would be good but my internet access is too spotty to depend on. So, are there books (that I could access on my Kindle) that could help me in the same way? I also have a smartphone, so I can download apps if it's possible to use them offline. Due to transport issues, I don't have a lot of freedom of movement to go to the gym or attend classes in anything.

I used to do mindfulness meditation but I found it quite frustrating. In my experience, mindfulness meditation has helped me become more aware that I am angry though but it doesn't help me to feel better - just helps to stop me from losing my temper with people most of the time. I already exercise regularly (at home), which has historically been good for my mood but currently does not help my anger issues in any way.

So what can I do, given my geographical and online access difficulties, to manage my anger issues? The only things that make me feel better/calmer are sleeping, reading trashy novels with no literary merit whatsoever, and eating ALL the junk food, none of which I feel are feasible long term strategies.
posted by Ziggy500 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What's your telephone situation? Could you do phone calls? Could you do international phone calls without it costing you a fortune?
posted by brainmouse at 3:59 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used and it was very good. I would just text anytime throughout the day and get a reply once a day. This could work because even spotty internet access will do.
posted by Coffeetyme at 4:05 AM on June 4, 2016

Talk with a pastor or religious leader
Go to Alanon meetings
Write daily in a journal
Find two friends and take turns venting to them
Download the VA ACT app and use it
posted by SyraCarol at 5:06 AM on June 4, 2016

mindfulness meditation has helped me become more aware that I am angry though but it doesn't help me to feel better - just helps to stop me from losing my temper with people most of the time.

If it helps you stop losing your temper, that seems good. Maybe continue with meditation and look for other solutions for mood management?

You could look into online forums for mental health. I don't know them well enough to make a recommendation, but I know they're out there.

Of your short-term mood enhancers that you mention, sleep and trashy novels don't seem that bad. Leaning on them for now does not mean you are obligated to them for the rest of your life.

I'm sorry you're in this situation and I hope things get better for you.
posted by bunderful at 5:12 AM on June 4, 2016

The book Feeling Good by David Burns, a pen, and a notebook. It will help you do cbt on yourself. There's a chapter on anger.
posted by bookworm4125 at 9:00 AM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Given the situations you listed in your last question, I'd be a little wary of anger-management resources and I'd look more for resources on grief and transitions. (Anger is a normal part of grief and many transitions, and can also be a symptom of depression; anger-management resources often assume anger's the only problem and may not help someone with the underlying problems, which can actually intensify the underlying problems.)

For books, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein and Transitions: Making Sense Of Life's Changes by William Bridges might be helpful. The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner might also be worth looking at. For in-person options, are there any grief support groups or caregiver support groups near you? They may not be quite as intensive as therapy but they're often more readily available and would still give you a possible outlet and support. There may be caregiver support forums online, as well.
posted by lazuli at 11:00 AM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

For what it's worth, I think Feeling Good is the DIY version of CBT, and I think The Artist's Way is the DIY version of talk therapy. (Ok, maybe just the morning pages part of it.)

I've worked through both, as well as approximately a zillion other self help books on reducing anxiety, becoming more mindful, beating depression, becoming happier, you name it. And The Artist's Way is the one I come back to time and time again when I feel stuck in a situation or in my emotions around a situation. For me, at least, there is something almost magical about brain dumping into a journal every morning that starts to shake loose coherent thought and useful actions from roiling emotions.
posted by instamatic at 6:58 AM on June 5, 2016

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