Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Amy Baucum Talk Space Reviews… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my problems and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has 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 the majority of in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also need to secure patients’ personal information– an issue that has triggered debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to examine services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. As with all sort of services and support, what works for someone might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change in person therapy with an experienced specialist. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the first instance, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.