Faced with joining a desperately long NHS waiting list…The Problem With Talk Space… “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 house,” said the 29-year-old, who resides in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile suited his requirements and reserved a chat session for the next day.
The medical professional app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. Talkspace, another online therapy platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on everything from utilizing emojis to preventing misconceptions. They also need to safeguard patients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered controversy in the US, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated clients need to examine services’ privacy policies prior to signing up. “Not all online counselling sites utilize expertly trained therapists or comply with an ethics policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the very first instance. Just like all sort of services and assistance, what works for one person might not work for someone else,” he stated.
Marc Bush, chief policy adviser at Young Minds, said that while online counselling services are important, “they should not replace in person treatment with a trained specialist. If a young adult is struggling, we would motivate them to speak to their GP in the very first circumstances, or to contact an established 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 impossible for the therapist to truly get a sense of the problems I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how essential social interaction was.