And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) concerns for a moment. Deana Gozder Betterhelp…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health concerns escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young adults who already filter nearly every element of their lives– friends, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally convinced that moving mental healthcare online is the method forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you satisfy someone in person, in the exact same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not just what it resembles to speak 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’, but it doesn’t develop the closeness, the intimacy, that really gets individuals 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 conventional counselling; it’s just not quite the exact same thing. It’s actually essential that people who engage in it understand that it’s a different experience from being in the room with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s a great start and definitely much better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually revealing up in the space.
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.