Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Spac Stock… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also 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 the majority of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also require to safeguard clients’ individual information– a concern that has actually caused debate in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to examine services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. Just like all type of services and assistance, what works for someone might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a qualified expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak to their GP in the 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 think I realised after that online session how vital social interaction was.