Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Better Help Insurance Aetna… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated 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 doctor app Babylon offers treatment 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 500,000 registered users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to safeguard clients’ individual data– a concern that has caused debate in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to examine services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or abide by a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. Just like all kinds of services and support, what works for one person may not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with a qualified expert. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak to their GP in the first circumstances, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.