Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Review If Better Help… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also require to secure patients’ individual data– an issue that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients should check services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first circumstances. As with all sort of services and support, what works for someone might not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with an experienced expert. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the 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 difficult for the therapist to actually 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 interpersonal interaction was.