Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Influencers… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and all set to handle my issues and rather liked the concept 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 matched his needs 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 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They likewise need to safeguard patients’ individual information– an issue that has caused controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to check services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use professionally trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. Similar to all kinds of services and support, what works for someone 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 shouldn’t replace face-to-face treatment with an experienced expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to talk with their GP in the very first circumstances, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how crucial interpersonal interaction was.