Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Live Session Talkspace… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to deal with my problems and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional 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 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to secure patients’ individual information– an issue that has actually triggered controversy in the United States, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to check services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all sort of services and support, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face therapy with a trained expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the first circumstances, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.