And pulling back from my own (relatively subtle) problems for a moment. Betterhelp Smile…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health concerns escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually starting to bite, digitised treatment could be simply the ticket for young people who already filter almost every aspect of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is completely convinced that moving mental health care online is the way forward. “For me, what operate in therapy is when you fulfill somebody in person, in the same space,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not just what it’s like to talk to the individual, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it doesn’t produce the closeness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open up 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 ‘functional equivalent’ of conventional counselling; it’s just not quite the very same thing. It’s truly crucial that people who engage in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the space with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In regards to availability, it’s a great start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the space. If you’re having a hard time with relationship problems, accessory concerns, or deeper concerns, it’s much better to be in the room with somebody. Skype and the web provides a range from your counsellor that might not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.