Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Jobs… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor 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 actually 150,000 signed up 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 everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to secure patients’ individual information– a concern that has actually triggered debate in the United States, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must inspect services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. As with all sort of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with a qualified specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate 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 generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.