And drawing back from my own (reasonably subtle) issues for a moment. Betterhelp Psychiatry…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health concerns escalating among under-30s? With cuts to mental health services really beginning to bite, digitised treatment could be just the ticket for young adults who already filter nearly every element of their lives– friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely convinced that shifting mental healthcare online is the method forward. “For me, what operate in therapy is when you meet someone face-to-face, in the same space,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not just what it resembles to talk to the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it does not develop the closeness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open and explore things.”
” 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 essential that individuals who engage in it understand that it’s a different experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In regards to availability, it’s an excellent start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the space. However, if you’re dealing with relationship problems, accessory problems, or deeper issues, it’s much better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the web offers a range from your counsellor that may not be valuable.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.