Like most services these days, technology has disrupted the traditional Talking Therapies landscape.
There’s no doubt, it has come to a significant moment.
People are turning to the Internet for help and unfortunately fuelling the unregulated online counselling and therapy market.
We need choice but we also need regulation
A number of privately run websites offering counselling or therapy can be described as unethical and exploitative.
As the NHS struggles to meet rising demand, some online counselling and therapy platforms are preying on people seeking help.
People who are at their most vulnerable at that moment in time are at risk of being exploited by being charged large sums of money for online sessions.
Some online counselling and therapy websites offer a service that requires subscribing with bank card details before the visitor has even been matched with their counsellor / therapist.
The abrupt nature of being served an online bill so early or subscribing when they are caught up in the heat of the moment could risk creating more anxiety or depression, particularly if finances are particularly tough.
Not all but a few online therapy services need to be more transparent and set clearer expectations for their visitors.
Check out the credentials
It is strongly recommended to choose a counsellor or therapist who is registered with an organisation that’s accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. This gives you reassurance about their training, qualifications, their regular supervision and necessary insurance. It means they have agreed to follow ethical codes and standards and undertake ongoing training and development.
The benefits of online counseling and therapy
There’s no single right way to receive care and evidence shows that online counselling/therapy can help many people.
Meeting online removes the barriers, such as waiting times, travel and having to work appointments into a busy schedule.
It is also useful for people who prefer not to speak with a counsellor or therapist in person, and avoids any stigma of seeking help.
Research also shows that keeping a diary has therapeutic benefits. Something about writing allows people to be more forthcoming and a deep and personal connection can be formed.
Here at WhereToTalk we adhere to the ethical standards and common values that fundamentally underpin all UK Talking Therapy services.
We simply need to make sure that all online counselling/therapy follow the UK ethical framework that fundamentally underpins UK talking therapies.