A traditional form of therapy would involve hour-long counseling sessions in an office setting. In the 21st century, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are resorting to more accessible ways of therapy, like a 60-second video from a licensed therapist on TikTok.
#TherapistsOfTikTok is a hashtag on short clips featured on the popular app, TikTok. These videos have been watched over 22 million times, and feature real licensed therapists. These videos are meant to be educational and entertaining by reducing the stigma of therapy and mental health conditions. This is all in hope that people who comment on the videos seek help outside of the app.
The Harm in #TherapistsOfTikTok
#TherapistsOfTikTok should never be used as a serious form of therapy. Hera Hussain, the founder of feminist tech project Chayn, said that she liked how the hashtagged videos addressed gender-based violence by creating survivor-led online resources. However, while she felt these videos did a great job of addressing stress management, as well as dealing with panic attacks and anxiety, Hussain believes it is best to personally consult with a doctor for any other serious mental illnesses. Another flaw of #TherapistsOfTikTok is that after liking a few videos with this hashtag, they may begin to appear on your timeline more frequently, and you may become overwhelmed with too much advice.
The Responses of TikTok Therapists
One TikTok therapist, Dr. Julie Smith, who has over 1.1 million TikTok followers, says she feels like there is a fine line between educational videos and what is potentially harmful. She believes that she is sending awareness of mental illness in her videos. She has included captions in her videos saying, “If you’re worried about mental health, seek help.” Additionally, she believes it is best to stick to simple subject matter that can be discussed in a short amount of time, rather than attempt to tackle more complex topics that may take longer. For example, she may choose to talk about topics like self-care, prioritizing sleep, spending time with friends, or the importance of exercise.
Can These TikTok Videos Be Helpful?
There are a variety of therapy videos on TikTok. Some are professional and educational, while others use trivializing humor. While these videos can help raise awareness, it is important not to rely too much on them — instead, you should be sure to seek professional help. If you are looking for light relief, TikTok could be a good place. To receive serious help for your mental illness, speak to a professional.
We are always looking for easy ways to receive help for our mental illnesses. During a pandemic, we want an accessible form of therapy as simple as watching a one-minute video on TikTok. The truth is that these short Tik Tok videos are not designed to give you the long-term quality of care that you need to ease your mental health symptoms. While Alta Loma understands your need for a quick fix, we also understand that the road to recovery is a long, yet rewarding one. Using personalized treatment plans, Alta Loma’s transformative center is equipped to help you tackle the challenges that come with a mental illness. You can trust us in providing you with all the tools you need to get through this tough time, including individualized therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, coping skills education, family treatment, long-term continuum care, and more. For more information, call us today at (866) 457-3843.