Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space.Co.Uk… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives 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 appeal 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 actually 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to protect clients’ individual data– an issue that has actually triggered debate in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. As with all type 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, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with an experienced expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak 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 actually generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult 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 realised after that online session how vital social interaction was.