CBC News - Text therapy on rise to help address youth mental health issues


Forget the conventional images that come to mind when you think of psychologists, like chaise longues and notepads. Swap in smartphones and tablets — that could be the future of modern psychotherapy, based on the changing ways young people are communicating.

Youth-oriented services in Canada, like Kids Help Phone, are adapting to social-media-focused millennials by creating new ways for young people to connect with counsellors. The 25-year-old organization now offers an instant messaging service which can be accessed through the Kids Help Phone app or by computer.


I don’t like this. There have been several times where my pdoc or my therapist have detected that something was wrong before I even realized it through my tone of voice and especially my body language.

I’ve had my depression sneak up on me before. I’m so used to the feeling that it is hard for me to detect it on my own.

The unmaskable microexpressions and nuances used in full conversations and face to face exchanges as opposed to text messaging are (in my opinion) almost as important or just as important as what you say. A text might just read ‘I think my neighbor is racist’ might not seem that suspicious if other things are big issues. But if probed further tone of voice can help cue them in as to whether it is an observation or a delusion with auditory hallucinations.

I support the idea of skype therapy or pdoc appointments but only if the person can’t get adequate help in any other way. I know this is really going to sound weird, but something changes in the air when someone is truly interested in something and thinking about it. I don’t really feel it when swapping storied with people but I can feel it when I am trying to solve a serious problem with someone and we are both giving 100%. I’ve skyped with one of my professors in his office because he was traveling and I had a question, and that same reassuring air just isn’t there. Maybe it’s just me.


I think that this is a good outlet for children who are afraid to voice what is going on inside of them. As a teenager, I desperately needed therapy but I couldn’t ever actually tell the truth when I was face to face with a stranger.


Did you have an actual child therapist?