Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Better Help Medium… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has actually 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to protect patients’ personal data– a concern that has caused controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to examine services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace in person treatment with a skilled specialist. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the first instance, 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 best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.