And drawing back from my own (relatively low-key) issues for a moment. How Expensive Is Better Help…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems escalating among under-30s? With cuts to mental health services actually starting to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who currently filter nearly every aspect of their lives– friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is totally encouraged that shifting mental healthcare online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill somebody in person, in the very same room,” states London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not just 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’, however it doesn’t create the closeness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open up 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 ‘practical equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s just not quite the exact same thing. It’s really crucial that individuals who participate in it understand 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 better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the space. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, accessory concerns, or deeper concerns, it’s much better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the web provides a distance from your counsellor that might not be handy.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some clients towards online programs rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.