And pulling back from my own (relatively low-key) issues for a moment. Betterhelp Nytimes…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health issues intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy 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 everybody is totally encouraged that shifting mental healthcare online is the way forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill someone face-to-face, in the exact same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not only what it’s like to speak with the person, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, however it doesn’t produce the nearness, the intimacy, that truly gets people to open 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 ‘practical equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s simply not quite the exact same thing. It’s really crucial that people who participate in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the room with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a great start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually appearing in the room. If you’re having a hard time with relationship issues, attachment concerns, or much deeper issues, it’s better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the web uses a distance from your counsellor that might not be helpful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs instead of face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.