Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Better Help Franco… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to handle my issues and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
The doctor app Babylon uses treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also need to secure clients’ personal data– a problem that has caused controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to check services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. As with all type of services and support, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change in person therapy with a skilled specialist. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.