And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) problems for a moment. When Was Better Help Founded…could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health concerns intensifying amongst under-30s? With cuts to psychological health services really beginning to bite, digitised treatment could be simply the ticket for young adults who already filter almost every element of their lives– buddies, work, sex, entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely convinced that shifting psychological health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you fulfill somebody in person, in the very same space,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You get to know not only what it’s like to speak 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 doesn’t develop the closeness, the intimacy, that truly gets individuals to open and explore things.”
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of conventional counselling; it’s simply not quite the very same thing. It’s truly essential that people who take part in it understand that it’s a different experience from remaining in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s a great start and definitely better than absolutely nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to eventually revealing up in the room.
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.