Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Groups… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to handle my issues and quite 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 discovered a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The doctor app Babylon offers 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 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise require to safeguard patients’ individual data– a problem that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients ought to inspect services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Similar to all kinds of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace in person treatment with a skilled professional. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to call 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 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 understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.