Not everybody is completely convinced that moving mental health care online is the way forward. “You get to understand not just what it’s like to talk to the individual, however how it feels to be in a space with them.
” I have actually carried out some research into Skype counselling,” states London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘functional equivalent’ of traditional counselling; it’s just not quite the very same thing. It’s really essential that people who participate in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the room with someone, speaking face-to-face.”
” In terms of accessibility, it’s an excellent start and absolutely better than nothing. It’ll hopefully lead them to ultimately appearing in the space. If you’re having a hard time with relationship concerns, attachment problems, or much deeper issues, it’s much better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the internet uses a distance from your counsellor that might not be practical.”
In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some patients towards online programs rather than in person counselling, a phenomenon that worries Dr Balick.
” My worry is that it’s happening a growing number of for financial reasons, rather than because it’s what’s finest for individuals. That’s not excellent if it’s rolled out just to conserve cash and there aren’t crucial questions being asked about these services. But then, I’m always extremely sceptical of people who are either extremely very professional or really very against online psychological healthcare. It’s a case of asking the ideal questions.”
Well, if the future of psychological health care is all about IMs, FaceTime and ‘OMG, which neuroses R U?’ tests, I chose I ‘d learn what that brave new world would be like. I signed up for 4 extremely different online psychological health services– varying in expense from complimentary to , 100 a month– and ran my stress and anxieties through them all, concurrently, for a week. Here’s what I discovered.
Does BetterHelp use licensed therapists? Better Help Phil
What I’m doing here is evaluating my experience of using each psychological health service, instead of its effectiveness – due to the fact that even the most wizard-like therapist isn’t going to ‘cure’ you in simply one week. I’m merely comparing each service to the experience of being in a room and blarting on about yourself to a therapist. Nod if you’re with me. Okay, cool – let’s mental health!
How does it work?
As seen on FB (by me, anyhow), United States company is the corporate behemoth of the e-counselling video game. They claim to have 500 licensed counsellors working for them, each with a minimum of 3 years of experience.
After filling out a questionnaire to determine what particular flavour of mental you are, you’re paired with a counsellor, who you can mercilessly switch for a various one at any time. (I got Dr. Laura Dabney, from Virginia). You then kick off an immediate messaged treatment session that both you and your counsellor can drop in and out of, and which could, in theory, continue till among you ultimately passed away.
What does it cost?
You get a complimentary seven-day trial – just like a totally free Netflix or Amazon Prime trial, except with way more concerns about what your youth was like. After that, it costs from , 24.50 a week for unlimited message-based counselling and one ‘complimentary’ phone session with your counsellor monthly. Yeah, I don’t get how it’s totally free either, however whatever.
How much is BetterHelp monthly?
If you find the concept of baring your soul to a stranger a bit awks, filtering that through instant messaging might be practical. You won’t get the very same connection as with face-to-face counselling, but the semi-anonymity may make it simpler to open if you’ve been consuming 2 bottles of rum and dancing around in your dead nan’s bridal gown every night.
She initially determined the scale of my anxiety, what triggers it– social circumstances, fulfilling individuals for the very first time– and after that dived headlong into my fractious childhood (separated parents, strained familial relationships, bullied in junior school). She was pretty nosey tbh, but then that’s her task, isn’t it?
In general, the service is remarkably slick. The discussion can be a little stop-starty at times, but it was really a far smoother and more on-tap experience than I anticipated. I even got rapid actions to messages over the weekend, which was unforeseen.
Talkspace vs Betterhelp
The fact you can modify messages before sending them means you’re unlikely to blurt out something vulnerable and revealing in the heat of the moment. Profound minutes of realisation might be tough to come by if you can’t get an unwinded flow going.
Who do I believe it might it benefit?
Anyone with a low-end mental health issue who’s cool with getting counselled in an extremely internet-y, 2016-y way. If you’re living under the blackest, bleakest cloud you can possibly imagine and require serious attention (and potentially some medications), most likely isn’t for you Better Help Phil