Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Leotha Foster Talkspace… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and all set to handle my problems and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon provides therapy 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 therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ individual data– a concern that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients must inspect services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first circumstances. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for someone may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace in person treatment with a trained professional. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the first instance, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how crucial social interaction was.