Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Softbank Vision… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon uses 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 therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to secure clients’ personal information– a concern that has triggered debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients must inspect services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. As with all sort of services and support, what works for someone might not work for another person,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a skilled professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the very 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 condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the issues I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.