Should we be concerned about a shift towards unlicensed mental health care?

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by Harley Therapy   |   About therapy
With the media reporting last week former Uber executive Andrew Chapin is launching a therapy app where patients can receive treatment from ‘para-professionals’, founder and experienced psychotherapist Dr Sheri Jacobson is concerned about a shift towards unlicensed mental health care.
Dr Sheri Jacobson said: “In our increasingly fragmented society where we have shallower personal connections and increased work and financial stresses, it is good to see companies such as Basis addressing a growing need for support. However it is vital we harness human, evidence-based interventions when treating mental health issues.
“Moving towards a ubiquitous model of unlicensed yet affordable, para-professionals could be catastrophic for people’s mental wellbeing. For me, replacing professional therapists and all of their lived experience and empathy with telepsychiatry administered by novice advisers could be potentially dangerous. Would you let a learner driver navigate an oil tanker? In my experience, it takes five years of supervised clinical experience to become a good therapist.”
“As for companies who solely provide telepsychiatry, I firmly believe in human interaction wherever possible. Humans are innately predisposed towards in-person interaction and without this contact, problems can present, such as loneliness and sadness.
“In an age where people value quantity of interaction - amassing thousands of connections on our socials - over real-life connection, it is vital we don’t lose real-life support networks.” uses state-of-the-art technology to enable users everywhere to find a professional, trained therapist suited to them in seconds based on their symptoms, location and preferences. Using over twelve years of mental health assessments insights, the website recommend the most statistically effective support for each individual. Unlike other therapy platforms, users can manage each step in their therapy journey - getting pre-therapy information, finding a therapist, booking an appointment and paying for therapy - securely online, without a subscriptionLaunching with a candid in-conversation titled ‘Are You Ok?’ on 9 October, the eve of World Mental Health Day, Harley Therapy founder Dr Sheri Jacobson and June Sarpong MBE will uncover truths around current mental health provisions and perceptions of therapy.
Please contact Philip Bridges, 07851 223 481 for further information or interview requests.
Notes to editors:
1. Dr Sheri Jacobson is a Canadian-born psychotherapist and serial entrepreneur. After graduating from Oxford, she trained as a psychotherapist, and founded the highly successful Harley Therapy
London clinics over twelve years ago. Sheri founded in 2017
with the aim of expanding her vision of an affordable therapy service accessible worldwide.
2. is an online booking platform for counselling and psychotherapy matching users with trained, professional psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors. Launched in 2017, the platform currently has over 200 registered and insured mental health practitioners situated across the UK available to offer online, telephone and in-person therapeutic services across a wide range of therapeutic disciplines and approaches.
3. World Mental Health Day was started in 1992 by the WHO. The day provides an opportunity "for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide".
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