Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Blog Trauma… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to handle my issues and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also 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 the majority of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They likewise need to safeguard clients’ personal data– a problem that has triggered debate in the United States, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should check services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or stick to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Similar to all sort of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change in person therapy with a trained expert. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first circumstances, or to call an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly 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.