Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Betterhelp Therapy Stock… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my problems and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit 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 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 registered users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also require to protect patients’ personal information– an issue that has actually caused controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must examine services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Just like all sort of services and support, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face treatment with an experienced specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the very first instance, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right 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 needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.