And pulling back from my own (reasonably low-key) issues for a moment. It Manager Betterhelp…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to mental health services really beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be just the ticket for young adults who already filter almost every element of their lives– good friends, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally persuaded that shifting mental healthcare online is the way forward. “For me, what works in therapy is when you meet someone face-to-face, in the exact same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not only what it’s like to talk to 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 develop the closeness, the intimacy, that truly gets people to open up and check out 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 exact same thing. It’s truly crucial that individuals who take part in it understand that it’s a various experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s an excellent start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually showing up in the room.
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes instead of face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.