Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Lantern Or Talk Space… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and reserved 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 likewise has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They likewise require to secure patients’ personal data– a concern that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients ought to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. As with all type of services and support, what works for one person may not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with a trained professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised 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 issues I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.