How has therapy evolved since the pandemic?
Since the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all had to adapt to a new way of life. Such a drastic and sudden change to our lifestyle has had its consequences – many people have really struggled with their mental health, faced with a situation so unpredictable, isolating and scary.
But it’s not all been negative. With so much extra time on our hands, we’ve had the chance to reflect on our lives and evaluate what really matters to us. Lockdown may have been a challenging time, but it was also a time for us to slow down and get back in tune with our minds and bodies.
We’ve seen so many changes after 2020, and society’s approach to therapy and mental hygiene has been just one of them.
Enforced quarantine and social isolation have seen more people than ever struggling with their mental health. A survey carried out by Mind revealed that one in six adults sought mental health support for the first time in their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
This could be in part due to dealing with issues such as loneliness, grief and loss, but also due to a sudden lack of simple face-to-face social contact. As human beings, we need social connections and interactions to flourish. Although a video call can go a long way to support this, it can’t quite mimic the feeling of physically being in the same room as our loved ones or hanging out with our work colleagues by the coffee machine.
Thankfully, there are some positives that have emerged from our collective struggle with isolation. Since more people have dealt with difficult feelings surrounding the pandemic, seeking emotional support has become much more commonplace.
Are we beginning to see less of a stigma around reaching out for help?
There are so many different types of therapy out there – from talking therapy, to sound-based therapy and hypnotherapy, there’s something to suit everyone’s needs. But one thing that ties them all together is that they almost always take place in person, with the patient sitting across the room from their therapist.
During the pandemic, we saw so many parts of our routine become virtual. People who had never worked from home before were suddenly turning their spare room into an office, and the tech-adverse had no other option than to video call their loved ones if they wanted to see their faces. Therapy was no different.
Suddenly, therapy became more widely available and accessible. People who may have felt uncomfortable attending a clinic before could now access it from the comfort and privacy of their own home. In fact, 82% of therapists believe that the move to online has had a positive impact in this regard.
Some of the positives of virtual therapy include:
- People don’t have to spend time travelling to see a therapist.
- It’s easier for disabled people, or those with chronic health conditions, to attend an appointment.
- Online appointments are more easily scheduled around a busy work/life schedule.
- Individuals worried about being stigmatised for seeking help don’t have to worry about being seen at the therapist’s office.
- Accessing therapy from the comfort of your own home can be less stressful due to the familiarity of the environment.
An increased demand for therapy
The NHS’s resources for mental healthcare are already extremely stretched. This means that, when someone is struggling with their mental health, it can be very difficult for them to get a therapy referral. And even when this is possible, the waiting list is usually long and off-putting.
42% of people referred for talking therapies have had to wait up to three months just for their initial assessment. This waiting period means that mental health conditions can deteriorate, and have a much more serious effect on someone’s quality of life. Some people may have already reached a crisis point by the time their appointment arrives.
Another issue with our healthcare system is that NHS treatments are often limited to talking therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or counseling. Unfortunately, these approaches won’t work for everyone. For instance, when somebody is suffering with PTSD, talking about the traumatising event can make things even worse. And, even if talking therapy is the best course of action, most people will get a maximum of six sessions, rather than long-term treatment.
This just isn’t good enough – our mental wellbeing should be a lifelong investment.
People want more control over how and when they access therapy. Thankfully, technology is making this possible. A therapy app subscription is just one tool which can help you to support your mental health for as long as you need, whenever you need.
The price tag
Private therapy is expensive. With sessions costing an average of £50, it’s unsurprising that only one in eight adults with mental health issues are receiving treatment.
Therapy shouldn’t be a luxury – it’s a necessity for leading a happy and healthy life. Yet it’s become inaccessible for many people with an average income, or for those who are unable to work.
With covid seeing many people lose their jobs and struggle with financial instability, it’s become more necessary than ever to lower the cost of therapy. Especially since these difficult life changes can only exacerbate mental health issues.
Here at Ed can Help, we’re working to make therapy accessible for everyone, no matter their life circumstances. With our affordable monthly subscription, you can take the first step towards better mental health without breaking the bank.
You can listen to our 20 minute sound-based therapy sessions from the comfort of your own home, or even in a quiet corner at work or university. It’s time for therapy to become a part of your daily routine, just as with physical exercise. Ed can Help you to make this possible.