Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Commercial Singer… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and prepared to handle my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile fit his needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity 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 also has actually 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They likewise require to safeguard patients’ personal information– a problem that has caused controversy in the United States, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients need to check services’ personal privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling websites utilize professionally trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. Similar to all type of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with an experienced expert. If a young person is struggling, we would motivate them to speak with their GP in the first circumstances, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the problems 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 vital interpersonal interaction was.