Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Summer Position… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my concerns and quite liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to safeguard patients’ personal information– a concern that has caused debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients should check services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use professionally trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with a trained specialist. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to talk with their GP in the first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right 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 realised after that online session how essential social interaction was.