Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Started In 2012… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to deal with my problems and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The doctor 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 therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also need to safeguard patients’ individual data– an issue that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients ought to check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Just like all type of services and assistance, what works for someone may not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change in person therapy with an experienced specialist. 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 actually generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to truly get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important interpersonal interaction was.