Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Progress… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and all set to deal with my problems and rather 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 suited his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise 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 a lot of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to safeguard clients’ personal data– an issue that has caused debate in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients ought to examine services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Similar to all sort of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace face-to-face therapy with a qualified professional. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the first circumstances, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has 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 issues I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.