Whether it’s an app that tracks your moods or coun­selling via mes­sag­ing, dig­i­tal ther­apy can be a quick and ef­fi­cient way to boost your men­tal health. re­ports

Ruth Tier­ney

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Wellbeing - Kyle Bean ILLUSTRATION

When­ever 23-year-old stu­dent El­iz­a­beth Neil wor­ried about find­ing work af­ter her finals, her throat closed and her chest filled with a thou­sand but­ter­flies. Faced with such crip­pling panic, she found so­lace not in the kind­ness of strangers but in the anonymity of a com­puter.

‘Sit­ting with ran­dom peo­ple in group ther­apy, who kept chip­ping in with un­help­ful opin­ions as I di­vulged the his­tory of my anx­i­ety, left me seething rather than calm,’ re­mem­bers El­iz­a­beth. ‘I had to rush home from uni­ver­sity ev­ery Tues­day to at­tend the ses­sions, when all I wanted to do was chill out in front of the TV.

‘There was a six-month wait­ing list to see a ther­a­pist one-to-one, so when my GP sug­gested I do an on­line course of cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy, cen­tred on prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions rather than talk­ing, I thought, “Why not?” I could log on to the weekly mod­ules with Ther­apy For You [an NHS ini­tia­tive] in my py­ja­mas on the sofa and watch a 90-minute video that helped me un­der­stand that there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween opin­ion and fact; that my feel­ings in­flu­ence my thoughts and sub­se­quently my ac­tions.’ A month on from fin­ish­ing the course, El­iz­a­beth hadn’t had pal­pi­ta­tions once.

On­line ther­apy courses such as the one El­iz­a­beth took are the

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