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A critique of digital mental health via assessing the psychodigitalisation of the COVID‐19 crisis

De Vos, Jan 2021. A critique of digital mental health via assessing the psychodigitalisation of the COVID‐19 crisis. Psychotherapy and Politics International 19 (1) , e1582. 10.1002/ppi.1582

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Abstract

Reading the report ‘The Digital Future of Mental Healthcare and its Workforce’ by the National Health Service (NHS) from the United Kingdom makes for a strange experience. Most centrally, it is utterly perplexing that no single argument is mounted in the report to wave aside accusations that it depicts a totalitarian world governed by a digipsy‐complex. As it seems to presage the COVID crisis in its assertion that digital mental health care will and should be the future, this paper takes the pandemic as its point of departure. However, it does not set out not from the apparent digitalisation of psy‐care under COVID‐conditions, but rather, from the psychologisation of the COVID crisis itself; that is, individualising and pathologising the discontents and socio‐subjective sufferings under COVID. The aim is to tackle from here the intertwining of the psychological and the digital, of psychologisation and digitalisation. This article engages in a close ‘symptomatic reading’ of the report and makes two points. The first concerns how digitalisation as such is closely connected to the neurobiologisation of subjectivity. The second point is about how digitalisation is also closely connected to the commodification of all things subjective and social. After discussing and interrelating these two issues, the article explores what a critical response could be, and what it should not be.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1476-9263
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 February 2021
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 12:24
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/138949

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