Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Better Help Podcast… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my concerns 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 suited his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The physician app Babylon provides therapy 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 most in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ personal data– a concern that has actually triggered controversy in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to inspect services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Similar to all type of services and support, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with a trained expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the very first circumstances, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best 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 think I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.