Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Careerws… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and prepared to deal with my concerns and rather liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his needs and reserved 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 likewise has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy 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 preventing misinterpretations. They also require to secure clients’ individual information– a problem that has caused debate in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients ought to inspect services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites use expertly trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. As with all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with a qualified expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the very first instance, or to call an established 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 really get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.