Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Refunds… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The medical professional app Babylon provides treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to secure patients’ individual data– a concern that has caused controversy in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to inspect services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Similar to all type of services and support, what works for one person may not work for somebody else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a trained specialist. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to call a recognized 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 difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how essential social interaction was.