Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space App Litigation… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and reserved 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 likewise has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to protect patients’ personal information– a concern that has triggered controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. As with all kinds of services and assistance, what works for someone may not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace in person treatment with a trained specialist. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the very 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 best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.