Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…How Fast Better Help Works… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to handle my concerns 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 found a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has actually 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also require to protect clients’ individual information– a concern that has triggered debate in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must examine services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. As with all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change in person therapy with a skilled specialist. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how essential social interaction was.