And pulling back from my own (fairly low-key) issues for a moment. Better Help Hudson…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health problems escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services truly starting to bite, digitised treatment could be simply the ticket for young people who currently filter almost every aspect of their lives– friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely encouraged that moving psychological health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you satisfy somebody face-to-face, in the same space,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it resembles to talk with the person, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, but it doesn’t produce the nearness, the intimacy, that actually gets individuals to open and explore things.”
” I’ve performed some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s just not quite the exact same thing. It’s truly important that people who take part in it understand that it’s a different experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In regards to ease of access, it’s a good start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the room. If you’re struggling with relationship issues, accessory problems, or deeper problems, it’s better to be in the room with somebody. Skype and the internet offers a distance from your counsellor that may not be helpful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.