And pulling back from my own (relatively subtle) problems for a moment. Talk Space Com Anxiety…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health problems intensifying among under-30s? With cuts to mental health services really starting to bite, digitised therapy could be simply the ticket for young people who already filter nearly every aspect of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everybody is totally encouraged that shifting psychological health care online is the way forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill someone face-to-face, in the very same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it resembles 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’, however it does not develop the nearness, the intimacy, that actually gets individuals to open up and explore things.”
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” states London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s simply not quite the same thing. It’s truly essential that people who engage in it know that it’s a different experience from remaining in the space with somebody, speaking in person.”
” In terms of accessibility, it’s a great start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually showing up in the room. However, if you’re fighting with relationship issues, accessory problems, or much deeper issues, it’s much better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the internet offers a range from your counsellor that might not be useful.”
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.