Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Counseling Notes Online… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to handle my problems and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to secure clients’ individual information– an issue that has actually caused controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients must check services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Similar to all kinds of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser 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 person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the very first instance, or to contact 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 right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.