Confronted with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Charges… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my concerns and rather 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 scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal 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 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They likewise need to protect patients’ individual data– an issue that has actually triggered debate in the US, where big online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must inspect services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change in person treatment with an experienced specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the very first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the best 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 understood after that online session how vital social interaction was.