And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) concerns for a moment. Betterhelp 2019…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health problems intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services truly starting to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who already filter almost every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally encouraged that shifting mental health care online is the way forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you fulfill somebody face-to-face, in the same space,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it’s like to talk with the person, however how it feels to be in a room with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, 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 conventional counselling; it’s simply not quite the same thing. It’s truly important that people who engage in it know that it’s a different experience from being in the space with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a good start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately showing up in the room. Nevertheless, if you’re fighting with relationship issues, accessory concerns, or much deeper problems, it’s better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the internet offers a distance from your counsellor that may not be useful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.