Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Texting Therapy… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to handle my issues and rather liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon uses treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 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 the majority of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They likewise require to secure clients’ personal data– an issue that has actually triggered debate in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients need to inspect services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or stick to an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first circumstances. Similar to all kinds of services and support, what works for someone might not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face treatment with a qualified professional. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate them to talk to their GP in the first instance, or to get in touch with an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised 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 issues 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 social interaction was.