Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Get Talk Space… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
The physician app Babylon provides treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ personal information– a problem that has caused controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to check services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or abide by a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. As with all sort of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a skilled expert. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to talk with their GP in the first instance, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.