Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Healthcare… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with my problems and quite liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The physician app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with many in the US.
Online training recommends therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also require to protect patients’ individual information– a problem that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients must check services’ personal privacy policies prior to 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 first instance. As with all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t replace face-to-face therapy with a skilled professional. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the first instance, or to call a recognized 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 really get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I realised after that online session how vital social interaction was.