Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Assessment Scoring Overview Document… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to deal with my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon uses 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 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also require to protect patients’ personal information– a concern that has triggered debate in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients should inspect services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. As with all sort of services and support, what works for someone might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with an experienced professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the very first instance, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.