Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Reputable… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my problems and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon provides 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 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 using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise require to secure clients’ individual information– a concern that has caused debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Similar to all type of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for another person,” he said.
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 qualified expert. 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 get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how essential social interaction was.