Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Ableto Vs Talk Space… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my issues and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They likewise require to secure patients’ individual information– a problem that has actually triggered controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients should check services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or stick to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Just like all type of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face therapy with a skilled professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first circumstances, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how crucial social interaction was.