Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Benefits Of Talk Space… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The physician app Babylon uses therapy 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 treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also need to secure clients’ individual information– a concern that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to check services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. As with all kinds of services and support, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face therapy with a qualified expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the first instance, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.