Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Better Help Patient Reviews… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to handle my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon provides 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 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to protect clients’ personal information– an issue that has actually caused controversy in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients ought to check services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first circumstances. As with all kinds of services and support, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a trained expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak 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 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 problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.