Confronted with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space/Gwf… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to handle my problems and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides 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 uses therapy 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 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also require to secure patients’ personal data– an issue that has actually caused controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to examine services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. As with all type of services and assistance, what works for a single person might not work for someone 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 skilled professional. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the very first circumstances, 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 ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how crucial social interaction was.