Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Michael Phelps Better Help Ad… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my problems and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The doctor app Babylon provides therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to secure clients’ personal data– a problem that has triggered debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should examine services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. As with all sort of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with a trained expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to talk 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 truly get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how crucial social interaction was.