And pulling back from my own (fairly subtle) concerns for a moment. Better Help Stock Target Price…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems escalating among under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually starting to bite, digitised treatment could be just the ticket for young people who already filter nearly every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is totally encouraged that moving mental healthcare online is the method forward. “For me, what operate in treatment is when you meet someone face-to-face, in the exact same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not just what it’s like to talk to the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, but it does not create the closeness, the intimacy, that truly gets individuals to open and check out things.”
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” states London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘functional equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s just not quite the same thing. It’s actually essential that individuals who participate in it are aware that it’s a different experience from being in the room with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a good start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually appearing in the room. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, attachment issues, or much deeper concerns, it’s much better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the web provides a range from your counsellor that may not be valuable.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.