Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Better Help Com Au… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to handle my problems and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides 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 physician app Babylon provides therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to protect clients’ personal data– a concern that has caused debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients ought to check services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. As with all sort of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a trained specialist. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to speak to their GP in the first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how vital social interaction was.