Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Experience… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my problems and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched 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 offers 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 signed up 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 preventing misconceptions. They likewise require to secure clients’ individual information– an issue that has triggered debate in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. Similar to all kinds of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person treatment with a skilled specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to talk with their GP in the first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.