And pulling back from my own (reasonably subtle) concerns for a moment. Better Help Stock Rating…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health concerns escalating among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young people who already filter nearly every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely convinced that moving mental health care online is the way forward. “For me, what operate in therapy is when you meet someone in person, in the same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not just what it’s like to speak with the person, however how it feels to be in a space with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it does not create the nearness, the intimacy, that truly gets people 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 ‘functional equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s simply not quite the very same thing. It’s really crucial that individuals who take part in it are aware that it’s a different experience from remaining in the room with someone, speaking in person.”
” In terms of availability, it’s an excellent start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually showing up in the room. If you’re struggling with relationship issues, attachment concerns, or deeper problems, it’s better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the web uses a distance from your counsellor that may not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.