Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Report Authorities… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to deal with my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers treatment 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 treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to safeguard patients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered debate in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients should check services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. As with all sort of services and support, what works for a single person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change in person therapy with a qualified professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important social interaction was.