And drawing back from my own (relatively low-key) problems for a moment. Better Help Sunnyvale Ca…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health issues intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services actually starting to bite, digitised treatment could be just the ticket for young adults who currently filter almost every aspect of their lives– pals, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is completely convinced that shifting mental health care online is the way forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill somebody in person, in the very same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it resembles to speak to the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, however it doesn’t develop the closeness, the intimacy, that actually gets people 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 ‘functional equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s simply not quite the exact same thing. It’s truly crucial that people who engage in it know that it’s a different experience from being in the space with someone, speaking in person.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a good start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually showing up in the space. If you’re struggling with relationship issues, attachment problems, or deeper issues, it’s better to be in the room 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 face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.