Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Michael Phelps Ad Talk Space… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort 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 needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor 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 actually 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to protect clients’ individual data– a concern that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to check services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face therapy with a skilled expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how crucial social interaction was.