Confronted with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace Weekends… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was motivated and ready to deal with my problems and rather liked the concept of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his needs 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 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 signed up UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has actually 500,000 registered users worldwide, with the majority of in the US.
Online training advises therapists on everything from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to protect clients’ personal data– a concern that has actually triggered debate in the US, where huge online therapy platforms have actually come under the spotlight.
Buckley said clients must examine services’ personal privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling sites use expertly trained therapists or follow an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first circumstances. Similar to all kinds of services and assistance, what works for one person may not work for somebody else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace face-to-face treatment with a trained specialist. If a young adult 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 actually generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal 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 think I understood after that online session how crucial social interaction was.