Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Eating Disorder… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The doctor app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They likewise require to safeguard patients’ individual data– a concern that has triggered debate in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should inspect services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. As with all kinds of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a skilled specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the very first instance, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.