And drawing back from my own (relatively subtle) issues for a moment. Is Better Help Reliable…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems intensifying among under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really starting to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young adults who already filter almost every aspect of their lives– good friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is entirely convinced that moving mental health care online is the method forward. “You get to know not only what it’s like to talk to the person, but how it feels to be in a space with them.
” I have actually performed some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s simply not quite the same thing. It’s actually important that people who participate in it know that it’s a various experience from being in the room with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In terms of availability, it’s a good start and definitely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately showing up in the room. However, if you’re having problem with relationship issues, accessory problems, or much deeper concerns, it’s better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the internet provides a distance from your counsellor that may not be handy.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.