Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Alexa… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to deal with my concerns and rather liked the concept of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
The medical professional app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also need to protect clients’ individual information– an issue that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients ought to check services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or adhere to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. As with all kinds of services and assistance, what works for someone might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a trained professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak with 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 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 problems I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.