Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space David Kasdan… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and all set to handle my issues and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The physician app Babylon provides treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has actually 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 US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to protect patients’ individual data– a problem that has actually triggered debate in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients should inspect services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Similar to all sort of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with a qualified expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the very first circumstances, or to get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how vital social interaction was.