Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Packages… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to handle my problems and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The doctor app Babylon uses therapy 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 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to safeguard clients’ personal information– a concern that has actually triggered controversy in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients must check services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. Similar to all sort of services and support, what works for one person may not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face treatment with a qualified expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the first circumstances, or to get in touch with a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best 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 needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.