Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…Talkspace,Com… “I simply felt that I couldn’t wait any longer– I was encouraged and all set to deal with my issues and quite liked the idea of doing so in the convenience of my own house,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he discovered a therapist whose profile suited his needs and scheduled a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The physician 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 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 utilizing emojis to preventing misinterpretations. They likewise need to safeguard clients’ personal data– an issue that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to inspect services’ personal privacy policies before signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or abide by an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Just like all kinds of services and support, what works for someone might not work for someone else,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy consultant at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are valuable, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with a trained specialist. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would motivate 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 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 problems I was handling, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I understood after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.