Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…How To Get The Most Out Of Talk Space… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to deal with my problems 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 found 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 doctor app Babylon provides treatment 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 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also need to protect patients’ personal information– a concern that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients should inspect services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or stick to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. As with all kinds of services and support, what works for one person may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a skilled specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage 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 anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal 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 realised after that online session how vital social interaction was.