Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Contact Information… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to handle my problems and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon uses treatment 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 therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to secure clients’ personal data– an issue that has actually triggered controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to inspect services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. As with all kinds of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with an experienced specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the very first circumstances, or to contact a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal 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 had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.