Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talk Space Therapist… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited 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 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the US.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise need to secure patients’ personal information– a concern that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to inspect services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for a single person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with an experienced expert. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was dealing with, 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.