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Wednesday 7th December 2016
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It's good to talk

15th October 2010

Clinical psychologist Dr Funke Baffour says that therapy, not pills, should be prescribed for depression and discusses the advantages telephone counselling.

Stones1Q

While it is not easy to calculate how many people are affected by depression, a big question concerns whether those who seek help are getting it in the most efficient way.

There appears to be a growing reliance on medication rather than other interventions such as counselling or therapy.

Telephone counselling is a modern approach and 20% of my sessions are conducted in this way, though the public need to be more aware of such approaches and take advantage of them.

Telephone counselling is cheaper and more convenient to fit into people’s schedules.

The lack of face-to-face interaction is perceived as a drawback but this can be an advantage with many people embarrassed to talk of their difficulties in a face to face setting.

Telephone counselling also breaks down geographical barriers and offers a greater sense of anonymity, leading to better outcomes for patients.

The benefits of phone therapy are that clients can speak to me when it suits them and from the comfort of their own homes.

While antidepressants have a valid function, I question their use on mild depression as the side effects often outweigh the benefits.

Of course, in cases of moderate to severe depression medication can be helpful - even life-saving.

But it is important to offer alternatives that can suit every lifestyle.

Telephone counselling is a remarkable service that can change people's lives for the better across the UK.

 

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