Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space 2019… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to deal with my problems 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 found a therapist whose profile suited his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon provides therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They likewise need to safeguard clients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered controversy in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should examine services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. As with all type of services and support, what works for one person might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with a qualified expert. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.