Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Better Help Robin Campbell… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and all set 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 found a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor 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 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They likewise need to secure patients’ individual information– a problem that has caused debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients should check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all type of services and assistance, what works for someone might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with an experienced specialist. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the first instance, or to get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how crucial interpersonal interaction was.