And pulling back from my own (relatively low-key) issues for a moment. Betterhelp Views…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems intensifying among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services truly starting to bite, digitised treatment could be just the ticket for young people who already filter almost every aspect of their lives– friends, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is entirely persuaded that moving psychological health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you meet someone in person, in the exact same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not just what it resembles to talk with the individual, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, but it does not produce the nearness, the intimacy, that truly 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 ‘practical equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s simply not quite the very same thing. It’s really crucial that individuals who participate in it are aware that it’s a various experience from remaining in the room with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of availability, it’s an excellent start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually appearing in the room. Nevertheless, if you’re having problem with relationship concerns, accessory problems, or deeper problems, it’s much better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the web provides a range from your counsellor that may not be helpful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes instead of face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.