Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Code… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and all set to deal with my issues 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 matched his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon uses treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to safeguard patients’ individual information– an issue that has triggered controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients must inspect services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. Similar to all sort of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with a skilled expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the first instance, or to get in touch with 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 handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.