Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Celebrities… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my concerns and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The medical professional app Babylon provides treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to protect clients’ individual information– a problem that has triggered debate in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients ought to examine services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. As with all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a skilled specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with 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 right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the issues I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.