Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space L… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared 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 fit his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity 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 also has actually 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 most in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to safeguard clients’ personal data– an issue that has actually caused controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to inspect services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Similar to all type of services and assistance, what works for someone may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change in person treatment with a skilled professional. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to actually get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.