And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) concerns for a moment. Letter From Fake Guidance Counseller Online…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems escalating amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services actually beginning to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young people who already filter almost every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally persuaded that moving psychological healthcare online is the way forward. “For me, what operate in treatment is when you fulfill someone face-to-face, in the same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You learn more about not just what it’s like to talk to the individual, but how it feels to be in a room with them. Using Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘good enough’, but it does not produce the nearness, the intimacy, that really gets individuals to open up and check out things.”
” I have actually carried out 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 very same thing. It’s really important that people who take part in it know that it’s a various experience from being in the room with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of accessibility, it’s a great start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately showing up in the room. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, attachment concerns, or much deeper problems, it’s much better to be in the room with someone. Skype and the internet offers 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 instead of in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.