Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Michael Phelps Talk Space Commercial… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and booked 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 signed up 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 encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to safeguard patients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients must check services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first circumstances. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face therapy with a qualified professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak to their GP in the first circumstances, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually 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 vital interpersonal interaction was.