Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Prices… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to handle my concerns and rather liked the idea 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 popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon provides therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to safeguard clients’ personal data– a concern that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by 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 a single person may not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with a skilled professional. If a young adult is struggling, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the very first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how important social interaction was.