Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Competitors To Talk Space… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to deal with my problems and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives 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 appeal in the UK. The medical professional 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 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to safeguard patients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered debate in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to inspect services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. As with all type of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face therapy with a qualified expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate 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 stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns 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.