Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Online Counseling Through Insurance… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and all set to handle my concerns and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides 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 popularity in the UK. The doctor 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 most in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ individual information– an issue that has triggered controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to examine services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for one person may 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 therapy with an experienced professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk with their GP in the first circumstances, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and 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 issues I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.