And drawing back from my own (relatively subtle) issues for a moment. Betterhelp Bi Polar…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health concerns escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually starting to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young people who currently filter nearly every element of their lives– good friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely persuaded that moving mental health care online is the way forward. “You get to understand not only what it’s like to talk to the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them.
” I have actually 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 just not quite the very same thing. It’s actually crucial that people who participate in it know that it’s a various experience from remaining in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of accessibility, it’s an excellent start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the space. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, accessory concerns, or deeper concerns, it’s better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the internet uses a distance from your counsellor that might not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.