And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) concerns for a moment. Geha Betterhelp…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems escalating among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services actually starting to bite, digitised treatment could be just the ticket for young people who already filter almost every element of their lives– good friends, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is entirely persuaded that moving psychological health care online is the way forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you satisfy someone face-to-face, in the exact same space,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not just what it resembles to talk to the person, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, however it does not create the nearness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open and explore things.”
” I have actually carried out some research study 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 very same thing. It’s really crucial that individuals who engage in it know that it’s a various experience from being in the space with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s a great start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately appearing in the space. However, if you’re battling with relationship concerns, accessory issues, or deeper issues, it’s better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the web uses a range from your counsellor that may 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 concerns Dr Balick.