Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Honest Assessment Of Talk Space… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to handle my issues and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” 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.
The doctor app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to protect clients’ individual information– an issue that has triggered controversy in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. Similar to all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace in person treatment with a qualified specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.