Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Responses Per Day… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to deal with my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
The physician app Babylon offers therapy 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 US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also need to secure patients’ personal data– a concern that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients ought to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. Just like all kinds 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, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face treatment with a qualified expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult 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 think I understood after that online session how important social interaction was.