And pulling back from my own (fairly subtle) concerns for a moment. Better Help Public…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health concerns escalating among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young adults who currently filter nearly every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is completely convinced that shifting mental health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you satisfy somebody face-to-face, in the exact same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not just what it resembles to speak with the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it does not create the nearness, the intimacy, that really gets individuals to open up and check out things.”
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of conventional counselling; it’s simply not quite the same thing. It’s actually essential that people who participate in it understand that it’s a different experience from remaining in the space with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In regards to availability, it’s a great start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately appearing in the space. However, if you’re struggling with relationship issues, accessory issues, or deeper issues, it’s better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the web provides a distance from your counsellor that might not be helpful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes instead of face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.