And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) issues for a moment. Activate Account Betterhelp…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health issues escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young people who currently filter nearly every element of their lives– pals, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely encouraged that moving mental healthcare online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill somebody in person, in the very same room,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it’s like to talk with the individual, however how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it doesn’t produce the closeness, the intimacy, that really gets individuals to open and explore things.”
” I have actually carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘functional equivalent’ of conventional counselling; it’s just not quite the same thing. It’s actually important that people who take part in it know that it’s a various experience from remaining in the room with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In regards to accessibility, it’s a great start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually showing up in the room. However, if you’re battling with relationship issues, accessory issues, or deeper issues, it’s much better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the internet uses a range from your counsellor that might not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some clients towards online programs rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.