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Not everybody is totally convinced that moving psychological health care online is the method forward. “For me, what works in treatment is when you meet somebody in person, in the very same room,” says London-based psychotherapist Sandra Tapie. “You are familiar with not only what it’s like to speak with the person, but how it feels to be in a space with them. Utilizing Skype is the next best thing: it’s ‘sufficient’, but it does not produce the nearness, the intimacy, that actually gets people to open and check out things.”

” I have actually carried out some research into Skype counselling,” says London-based psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, “and it’s not the ‘practical equivalent’ of standard counselling; it’s just not quite the very same thing. It’s really important that individuals who take part in it are aware that it’s a various experience from being in the space with somebody, speaking face-to-face.”

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” In terms of ease of access, it’s a great start and certainly better than nothing. It’ll ideally lead them to ultimately showing up in the space. If you’re struggling with relationship issues, attachment issues, or much deeper issues, it’s better to be in the space with someone. Skype and the internet provides a range from your counsellor that may not be practical.”

In cases of mild depression, the NHS is now directing some clients towards online programmes instead of face-to-face counselling, a phenomenon that concerns Dr Balick.

” My fear is that it’s happening a growing number of for economic reasons, rather than since it’s what’s best for people. If it’s presented just to conserve money and there aren’t vital questions being asked about these services, that’s not good. Then, I’m constantly extremely sceptical of individuals who are either extremely extremely pro or extremely very against online mental health care. It’s a case of asking the ideal concerns.”

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

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What I’m doing here is reviewing my experience of using each mental health service, rather than its effectiveness – due to the fact that even the most wizard-like therapist isn’t going to ‘cure’ you in simply one week. Okay, cool – let’s mental health!

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How does it work?

As seen on FB (by me, anyway), United States company is the business leviathan of the e-counselling video game. They claim to have 500 certified counsellors working for them, each with a minimum of 3 years of experience.

After completing a survey to ascertain what particular flavour of mental you are, you’re paired with a counsellor, who you can mercilessly swap 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 up until one of you eventually passed away.

What does it cost?

You get a complimentary seven-day trial – similar to a free Netflix or Amazon Prime trial, other than with method more questions about what your youth was like. After that, it costs from �,� 24.50 a week for unrestricted message-based counselling and one ‘free’ phone session with your counsellor each month. Yeah, I don’t get how it’s complimentary either, but whatever.

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Filtering that through instant messaging might be useful if you find the concept of baring your soul to a complete stranger a bit awks. You won’t get the same connection as with face-to-face counselling, but the semi-anonymity may make it much easier to open up if you have actually been drinking 2 bottles of rum and dancing around in your dead nan’s bridal gown every night.

She first ascertained the scale of my stress and anxiety, what triggers it– social situations, meeting individuals for the first time– and after that dived headlong into my fractious youth (divorced parents, stretched familial relationships, bullied in junior school). She was quite nosey tbh, but then that’s her task, isn’t it?

In general, the service is impressively slick. The conversation 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 quick actions to messages over the weekend, which was unanticipated.

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The fact you can edit messages prior to sending them means you’re not likely to blurt out something revealing and unguarded in the heat of the minute. So extensive minutes of realisation may be difficult to come by if you can’t get an unwinded circulation going.

Who do I think it might it benefit?

Anybody 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 possible and require severe attention (and possibly some medications), probably isn’t for you This Video Is Sponsored By Betterhelp