And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) concerns for a moment. Betterhelp Lifeline…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health problems intensifying among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services truly beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who already filter nearly every aspect of their lives– pals, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is entirely persuaded that moving mental health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you satisfy someone face-to-face, in the same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not just what it’s like to speak to the person, however how it feels to be in a space with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, but it doesn’t create the nearness, the intimacy, that really gets people to open up and check out things.”
” I have actually 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 exact same thing. It’s truly important that individuals who engage in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of accessibility, it’s a good start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually showing up in the room.
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some clients towards online programmes instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.