I have tried this evening to go back over my journey to date, thinking about how I have used the internet and this site for help, but it is vast with many side-shoots and so many things happening simultaneously.
To generalise the process of looking for help, for me it begins with looking to identify with what the writer is describing, someone in a similar situation or with similar symptoms; then I am looking for a bit of empathy for how it feels to be in that situation - I guess collectively I'm looking to feel understood. From there I need hope and reassurance - there is an answer or there can be a happy ending, and then the "how", how to achieve the positive outcome, hopefully with some tasks or ideas that can help me to start moving in that direction.
Things that put me off when I read things online are articles with too much marketing or self-promotion, anything that is very repetitive or too preachy, articles that are too low level and don't have enough depth, and occasionally articles that are in some way triggering ( resulting in anger, general resistance, dissociation).
I managed to isolate lots of scenarios at different points along my journey when I've felt I needed help, several where I've not really been able to find the help I needed - which seem to fall down at the identification stage - I just wasn't able to find anything relating to similar situations.
I can also see very clearly now in hindsight examples of attachment issues, projection and transference, that left me feeling very needy and in search of help, but despite having a basic understanding of those concepts, I still couldn't recognise them at the time when I was in the throes of it all, I truly believed that how things felt and how I perceived them were how they really were. ...and question whether in some ways it was important that I remained unaware, in order to derive better longer-term therapeutic benefit from them?
If you would like me to get into more detail and specifics Joanna - just let me know, I just didn't want to write an essay if that's not the level of detail you're looking for.