And pulling back from my own (fairly low-key) problems for a moment. Betterhelp Text Chat Plans…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health issues intensifying among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who currently filter almost every element of their lives– pals, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is totally encouraged that moving mental healthcare online is the way forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you meet someone in person, in the same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not just what it’s like to talk with the individual, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, however it doesn’t develop the closeness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open 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 standard counselling; it’s simply not quite the same thing. It’s really essential that individuals who participate in it know that it’s a different experience from remaining in the room with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s an excellent start and certainly much better than absolutely nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately showing up in the room.
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some clients towards online programs rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.