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Live video session
If you’re someone who delights in face-to-face discussion, you can also arrange a video session with your counselor. Simply log on at your appointment time and your counselor will prompt you to start the video chat.
From the age of about 13 onwards, I’ve suffered from higher-than-seems-normal levels of stress and anxiety, and while I’ve mainly come to terms with being jittery and a bit doomy, I certainly would not mind being less so. I have actually had counselling prior to, and it does help.
And drawing back from my own (reasonably low-key) problems for a moment, could e-counselling be the answer to the mental health issues escalating 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– friends, work, sex, home entertainment– through a screen.
Not everyone is completely encouraged that shifting mental health care online is the way forward. “You get to know not just what it’s like to talk to the person, however how it feels to be in a room with them.
” I’ve carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘functional equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s just not quite the same thing. It’s actually important that individuals who take part in it are aware that it’s a different experience from remaining in the space with someone, speaking in person.”
” In terms of ease of access, it’s a good start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually showing up in the space. If you’re struggling with relationship issues, attachment issues, or deeper concerns, it’s better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the web provides a range from your counsellor that might not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programmes rather than face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.
” My worry is that it’s happening increasingly more for financial factors, rather than because it’s what’s finest for people. If it’s rolled out just to save cash and there aren’t important questions being inquired about these services, that’s not good. But then, I’m constantly really sceptical of people who are either extremely very pro or really very versus online psychological healthcare. It’s a case of asking the best questions.”
Well, if the future of mental health care is everything about IMs, FaceTime and ‘OMG, which neuroses R U?’ quizzes, I decided I ‘d find out what that brave brand-new world would resemble. I signed up for four really various online mental health services– varying in expense from free to , 100 a month– and ran my stress and anxieties through them all, all at once, for a week. Here’s what I discovered.
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What I’m doing here is examining my experience of using each psychological health service, rather than its efficiency – due to the fact that even the most wizard-like therapist isn’t going to ‘treat’ you in just one week. I’m simply comparing each service to the experience of being in a space and blarting on about yourself to a therapist. Nod if you’re with me. Okay, cool – let’s psychological health!
How does it work?
As seen on FB (by me, anyhow), United States company is the corporate behemoth of the e-counselling game. They claim to have 500 certified counsellors working for them, each with at least 3 years of experience.
After filling in a survey to ascertain what specific flavour of mental you are, you’re coupled with a counsellor, who you can mercilessly swap for a different one at any time. (I got Dr. Laura Dabney, from Virginia). You then kick off an instant messaged treatment session that both you and your counsellor can drop in and out of, and which could, in theory, go on and on till one of you ultimately died.
What does it cost?
You get a complimentary seven-day trial – similar to a complimentary Netflix or Amazon Prime trial, except with method more concerns about what your childhood was like. After that, it costs from , 24.50 a week for unlimited message-based counselling and one ‘complimentary’ phone session with your counsellor each month. Yeah, I don’t get how it’s totally free either, however whatever.
How much is BetterHelp monthly?
Filtering that through immediate messaging might be practical if you find the concept of baring your soul to a stranger a bit awks. You won’t get the very same connection similar to in person counselling, but the semi-anonymity may make it much easier to open up if you’ve been drinking 2 bottles of rum and dancing around in your dead nan’s bridal gown every night.
She first established the scale of my anxiety, what activates it– social circumstances, fulfilling people for the first time– and after that dived headlong into my fractious childhood (separated parents, strained familial relationships, bullied in junior school