Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Better Help Expensive… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and all set to deal with my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon provides 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 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ individual information– an issue that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to inspect services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. Just like all type of services and assistance, what works for one person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with a qualified expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the first instance, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.