Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Vs In Person Therapy… “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 home,” stated the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his requirements and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The doctor app Babylon offers treatment to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 registered users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They likewise need to secure patients’ individual data– a problem that has triggered debate in the US, where big online treatment platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients should inspect services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first circumstances. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for someone might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they shouldn’t replace in person therapy with a trained expert. If a young person is struggling, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the very first instance, 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 best fit. “I felt it was near impossible for the therapist to really get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they had to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important social interaction was.