The world we live in is becoming increasingly complex. In the UK we have more choices and opportunities than ever before. We are able to connect with people across the world. This opens up so many choices for work, relationships, where and how we live.
We have greater access to innovative healthcare that means we will live longer and hopefully healthier lives. But how will we afford these changes as individuals, families and societies? These changes, opportunities and uncertainties we face in our daily lives and in looking to our futures can be frightening as well as exciting.
Humans have been drawn to considering the meaning of life, how we live well, ethically, morally and in line with our values for a long time. Often these questions are addressed within the context of religion. These questions are increasingly challenging for us in modern society particularly as many people are moving away from religion and losing the guiding framework that comes with it.
Trying to adapt to our uncertain environment can cause anxiety, indecisiveness and a sense of life passing us by. It can also lead to retreat if all of this feels too overwhelming, through the use of substances or overworking or isolation, and potentially stress or depression if this continues.
Our attempts to adapt to the world are bringing more people into talking therapies than ever before, recent surveys suggest one in five people in the UK. This may be in response to specific mental distress, or in an effort to step back from the complexity of our lives, have a space to analyse and make sense of our environment and our responses to it, and hopefully to be able to make more thoughtful, informed choices about how we live.
Alongside these changes the NHS has invested more funding in the training of CBT therapists since 2007 in an attempt to meet the needs of more people presenting with anxiety disorders and depression. This has raised our consciousness of talking therapies as a viable option for helping ourselves or our families.
While CBT within the NHS might not be the right kind of approach for everyone, it has helped to normalise psychological therapy as a valid approach to human suffering. The increasing complexity of our lives will lead more and more of us to access therapy which require increasingly sophisticated and adaptable solutions hence the growing popularity of Skype therapy – the rise of the digital shrink!
De Botton, A. (2012). Religion for Atheists. Penguin Books.
Doward, J (2010). One in five Britons has consulted a psychotherapist. Retrieved August 30, 2016
Evans, J. (2015). Peter Fonagy on psychoanalysis and IAPT Retrieved August 30, 2016
McGrath, R. (2011). The World is More Complex Than it Used To Be. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
Wills, K. (2016). The Rise of the Digital Shrink. Retrieved August 30, 2016