Collective Change

Taking Therapy Online

It seems to me that people will often put up with mental health problems for a long time before reaching out for help.  I remember when I worked at Relate, it felt that couples would come to me as a last resort when things had become unbearable.  Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, stated on Radio 4 this week, that 61% of people looking for help have already reached a crisis point, where things had become overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  

We go to a personal trainer when we want to lose a few pounds, or go to the doctor when we feel unwell, but when we are struggling to cope in our day to day lives, reaching out for help is something that we don’t naturally think to do.  A key reason is that people are not even aware that they are not coping.  Sleepless nights, feelings of isolation, anxiety, headaches, worrying and turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, food and drugs can seem normal but there is help out there and you don’t have to face tough times alone.

Life is full of joy and pleasure but also sadness, loss and hardship.  This is normal.  When we might go to the doctor when we have physical pain and research shows that talking therapies, whatever the modality, are hugely effective.  Richard Bentall shows clear evidence that childhood sexual abuse, bullying at school, physical abuse, death of a parent at an early age and other early traumas under the age of 16, can mean that you are three times more at risk of developing psychosis and mental health problems in adulthood.  He goes on to say that “madness is in the world not in us”.  It is part of human life

Therapy and counselling and such treatments help target the early traumas and also looks at the current social context of mental health problems with a view to alleviating symptoms, helping to find more healthy ways of coping in adverse situations and supporting you to live a more fulfilling life.

Since the outbreak of Covid, the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) has embraced the idea that online Psychotherapy and Counselling is OK.  For me, there is an argument to suggest that therapy may not be as effective online, but human beings are constantly evolving and progressing and I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that the world of therapy has been thrown into a situation where the various associations and bodies have had to change.  People having access to a therapist, being supported and being heard without judgement, online, is without question a better scenario.

Living away from your native country can make it feel even more difficult to find support when you need it.  I am relatively new to the island and have only brushed the surface when it comes to understanding what help is available.  However, with the growing use of technology, there is more help out there for the English speaking community than ever before and I want to take this opportunity to signpost some organisations.

If you want to find an English speaking online therapist or counsellor you have access to the UKCP www.psychotherapy.org.uk or BACP www.bacp.co.uk directories.

Other websites where you can find information about various mental health problems are: 

These are just a few online resources that may be helpful to you or even if you’re concerned for someone.  If you need help with something specific not mentioned, feel free to contact me through my webpage below.  

Having trained and worked with Relate in North London, supporting couples, I am now studying at the Metanoia Institute in London, working towards my masters in Psychotherapy Transactional Analysis.  The world of a Psychotherapist and Counsellor is a never ending journey of self awareness and learning.  Society is always changing and it is important that we remain open and adaptable to all these changes, whilst staying grounded and true to ourselves.

This is why we engage in therapy ourselves and use supervision to challenge and support us.  I am setting up my private practice here as a psychotherapist in clinical training, for more information you can visit my website at www.psychotherapy-mallorca.com.

Access to online mental health support is more available than ever now.  You don’t have to struggle alone.

Written by Sarah Simidian

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