Faced with signing up with a desperately long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Vs Betterhelp… “I just felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was inspired and ready to deal with 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 needs and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor app Babylon provides treatment 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 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with the majority of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misinterpretations. They also require to protect patients’ personal information– a concern that has caused controversy in the US, where big online therapy platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients need to inspect services’ personal privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or adhere to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the very first circumstances. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person may not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they shouldn’t change in person therapy with a skilled expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to talk to their GP in the first circumstances, or to call a recognized service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the right fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the problems I was handling, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how vital interpersonal interaction was.