Faced with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace/Gwf… “I simply felt that I could not wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my issues and quite 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 found a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The physician app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the United States.
Online training advises therapists on whatever from utilizing emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They likewise need to safeguard clients’ individual data– a concern that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients ought to check services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. Similar to all type of services and support, what works for a single person might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy advisor at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not replace face-to-face therapy with a trained professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has actually generalised stress and anxiety disorder, online counselling wasn’t the best fit. “I felt it was near difficult 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 believe I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.