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Not everybody is entirely encouraged that moving psychological health care online is the way forward. “You get to know not only what it’s like to talk to the individual, but how it feels to be in a space 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 conventional counselling; it’s just not quite the very same thing. It’s truly important that individuals who take part in it are aware that it’s a different experience from remaining in the space with someone, speaking face-to-face.”

Bbc

” In regards to availability, it’s a great start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to eventually appearing in the room. If you’re struggling with relationship concerns, attachment issues, or deeper issues, it’s much better to be in the space with somebody. Skype and the internet provides 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 worries Dr Balick.

” My worry is that it’s taking place a growing number of for economic reasons, instead of because it’s what’s best for individuals. That’s not great if it’s rolled out simply to save money and there aren’t critical concerns being asked about these services. But then, I’m constantly very sceptical of people who are either very really professional or very extremely against online psychological healthcare. It’s a case of asking the right questions.”

Well, if the future of psychological healthcare is everything about IMs, FaceTime and ‘OMG, which neuroses R U?’ tests, I decided I ‘d discover what that brave brand-new world would resemble. I registered for 4 extremely various online mental health services– ranging in cost from totally free to �,� 100 a month– and ran my anxieties through them all, at the same time, for a week. Here’s what I discovered.

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What I’m doing here is evaluating my experience of using each psychological health service, rather than its efficiency – because even the most wizard-like therapist isn’t going to ‘cure’ you in just 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!

BBC

How does it work?

As seen on FB (by me, anyway), United States business is the business leviathan 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 survey to determine what specific 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 start an instant messaged therapy session that both you and your counsellor can drop in and out of, and which could, in theory, continue up until one of you eventually passed away.

What does it cost?

You get a complimentary seven-day trial – just like a totally free Netflix or Amazon Prime trial, other than with method more questions about what your childhood was like. After that, it costs from �,� 24.50 a week for unrestricted message-based counselling and one ‘totally free’ 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 idea of baring your soul to a stranger a bit awks, filtering that through instant messaging might be useful. You will not get the same connection as with face-to-face counselling, but the semi-anonymity might make it easier to open up if you’ve been consuming two bottles of rum and dancing around in your dead nan’s wedding dress every night.

She initially determined the scale of my stress and anxiety, what activates it– social circumstances, satisfying individuals for the very first time– and then dived headlong into my fractious childhood (divorced parents, stretched familial relationships, bullied in junior school). She was quite nosey tbh, however then that’s her job, isn’t it?

Overall, the service is impressively slick. The conversation can be a little stop-starty sometimes, however it was really a far smoother and more on-tap experience than I expected. I even got quick reactions to messages over the weekend, which was unexpected.

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The fact you can edit messages before sending them means you’re unlikely to blurt out something unguarded and revealing in the heat of the moment. So profound moments of realisation might be hard to come by if you can’t get an unwinded flow going.

Who do I think it might it be good for?

Anybody with a low-end psychological health problem who’s cool with getting counselled in a very internet-y, 2016-y method. If you’re living under the blackest, bleakest cloud possible and require major attention (and potentially some medications), most likely isn’t for you Betterhelp Subscription Hold