And pulling back from my own (fairly subtle) concerns for a moment. Help Betterhelp…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services actually starting to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young adults who already filter nearly every aspect of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally convinced that moving psychological health care online is the way forward. “For me, what operate in treatment is when you meet somebody face-to-face, in the same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it resembles to talk with the person, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, but it does not develop the nearness, the intimacy, that really gets individuals to open up and explore things.”
” I’ve carried out some research study 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 same thing. It’s actually essential that people who engage in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the room with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of availability, it’s an excellent start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately appearing in the room. If you’re struggling with relationship problems, attachment concerns, or deeper concerns, it’s much better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the web uses a range from your counsellor that might not be handy.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.