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Humber News | Digital Therapy is the New Normal of Mental Health Support

Originally published in Humber News on March 18, 2019 by Stefanie Ucci

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Many critics have argued technology increases mental health issues in young people and, while this may be true in regards to social media, technology can still be used to aid people on a journey to recovery and wellness. 

That’s where digital therapy comes in. Companies offering therapy via instant messaging, phone calls or video chats pop up every year. 

There are smaller companies offering digital therapy that are both accessible and affordable for those in need of mental health support. 

BEACON provides online psychotherapy and operates on both smartphones and computers across Canada.  It was launched in 2017 and offers a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach and is a subsidiary of CBT Associates. 

Nadia Keung, head of marketing, said CBT is the most studied form of therapy and is recommended as an effective treatment for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is very focused on teaching the individual to build resiliency skills so that they in effect have the skills to manage their own thoughts and feelings in a healthy way,” Keung said. 

A typical face-to-face therapy session. Digital therapy allows clients to talk to their therapists using their cell phone or computer which eliminates the need for in person counselling for mental health issues. She said studies have concluded CBT is just as effective as medication as it uses readings and exercises tailored to individuals’ conditions to guide them through the process to recovery. These activities are what allows CBT to lend itself well to digital therapy.

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