Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Michael Phelps Talk Space Ad… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to handle my issues 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 fit his needs and scheduled 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 treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They likewise need to secure patients’ personal data– a concern that has caused debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients must inspect services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. Similar to all type of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face treatment with an experienced professional. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has 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 concerns I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.