Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Hec Stock… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon uses treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 150,000 signed up 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 avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to secure patients’ individual data– a concern that has triggered controversy in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. As with all type of services and assistance, what works for someone may not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a trained professional. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the problems 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 vital interpersonal interaction was.