Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space – Online Therapy… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
The physician app Babylon provides treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to protect clients’ personal information– a problem that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must inspect services’ privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or stick to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. Just like all kinds of services and support, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace in person treatment with a qualified professional. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage 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 generalised stress and 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 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 essential social interaction was.