And pulling back from my own (fairly low-key) concerns for a moment. Is Better Help Expensive…could e-counselling be the answer to the psychological health issues intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who currently filter almost every aspect of their lives– good friends, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally convinced that moving psychological health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you satisfy somebody face-to-face, in the very same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it resembles to speak to the individual, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, but it doesn’t produce the nearness, the intimacy, that truly gets individuals to open up and explore things.”
” I’ve performed some research into Skype counselling,” states London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s simply not quite the exact same thing. It’s actually important that individuals who take part in it understand that it’s a various experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a good start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the room. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, attachment problems, or much deeper concerns, it’s better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the internet provides a range from your counsellor that might not be useful.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.