Faced with joining a frantically long NHS waiting list…Uf Better Help… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was motivated and prepared to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own house,” stated the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile matched his requirements and booked a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in appeal in the UK. The doctor app Babylon uses therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp likewise has actually 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with most in the United States.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to avoiding misconceptions. They also require to secure patients’ personal data– an issue that has triggered debate in the US, where huge online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley stated patients must check services’ privacy policies prior to registering. “Not all online counselling websites utilize expertly trained therapists or stick to a principles policy, so ask your GP for a recommendation in the first instance. As with all sort of services and assistance, what works for a single person might 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 replace in person treatment with a skilled professional. If a young person is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak to their GP in the 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 difficult for the therapist to actually get a sense of the concerns I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I think I realised after that online session how essential interpersonal interaction was.