Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Oren Frank Talk Space Founder… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience 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 uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise 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 many in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to safeguard clients’ personal information– a problem that has actually triggered debate in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with a skilled specialist. 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 condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.