Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Review Of Talkspace… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to deal with my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon provides 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 treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also require to secure patients’ personal data– a concern that has actually triggered controversy in the United States, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should examine services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. As with all sort of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with a qualified professional. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the very first instance, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the issues I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.