Twitch is known for being a video-game streaming service. How about seeing your therapist on it? Polygon reports that Twitch has seen a surge in activity since the pandemic, and for good reasons. Brewing stuck at home sucks, and if you don’t have a powerful gaming PC, it could suck even more. However, watching a streamer with the right personality stream some of your favorite games will save you from having to go through it yourself. Recently, mental health therapists have also been relying on the platform to offer remote sessions to clients.
Gaming Therapists Are a Thing?
Unofficially, some streamers mention their struggles with mental health on Twitch. Some of them discuss touchy topics such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Viewers tune in, not just for the great gameplay, but for the insight from someone who has faced it themselves. While these Twitch streamers aren’t strictly mental health professionals, they call themselves advocates. They bring attention to a struggle that millions of people face every day. Their goals are to destigmatize talking about mental health. With more people being aware of how important mental health is, this could be an excellent way to get people to open up.
Many streamers don’t censor their thoughts while they play. It’s part of their personality, and leaving discussion open and candid helps them sort through the mess of emotions their viewers may have. Occasionally, these streamers may delve into mental health discussions without meaning to. Twitch isn’t a clinical space. There are no rules about discussing mental health on the platform, and some users look out for helpful tags that would give them an idea of whether they could talk about what they want to within a particular setting.
Real Doctors Also Use Twitch
While mental health advocates are essential, they aren’t professionals. They can’t offer the same type of care as an actual doctor. Some licensed therapists and psychologists also stream on the platform. Because of the large volume of users, it provides a valuable online space for mental health professionals to carve out a community. Some mental health professionals give lecture-style talks that people can subscribe to. Others offer deep insights into mental health backed by their professional opinion while gaming. The most recent trend is seeing doctors do interviews or discussions with streamers, asking questions over some time. This type of content is new to Twitch, but it isn’t a brand-new way to get people interested in a topic. Psychology and self-help gurus have been using it for decades. In this setting, it’s a lot more intimate to have an actual discussion with a qualified mental health professional.
A Very Small Niche Market
While Twitch is a popular platform, most clinicians have probably never heard of it. Younger professionals that have finished their LPC licensing are the ones most likely to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Twitch. There’s still no dedicated methodology for offering mental help as a professional online. While some opt for video chat and conferencing like Zoom, other professionals go to the demand. Twitch might prove to be a helpful addition to a new mental health professional, offering a way to help those who genuinely need it.