Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Team… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to handle my problems and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who lives 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 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 most in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They also require to safeguard clients’ individual data– a concern that has actually caused debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients ought to examine services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or comply with a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first instance. Just like all type of services and support, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t change face-to-face treatment with an experienced specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak to 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 actually generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the concerns I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.