Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Lisa On Talkspace… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to handle my concerns and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The physician app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to secure clients’ personal information– an issue that has caused controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should inspect services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation 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 stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace in person therapy with a skilled expert. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the very 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 condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.