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The Benefits Of Online Therapy For Teens

For many teenagers who are teenagers, sitting in a therapist’s office to talk about their emotions isn’t particularly enticing. But, speaking with an online therapist might sound too bad.

Many parents ask the question of whether the internet is a good idea. There’s evidence to suggest that talking to a mental health professional over the internet can be beneficial to teens.

However, it’s vital to educate yourself about the risk factors and to make sure that your teen is suitable for online therapy prior to starting treatment.

Online therapy is often called by different names, like internet counseling, e-therapy or telepsychology. Like the name implies, online therapy allows people to talk with a counselor online, as opposed to having a face-to-face session in an office.

Therapists can communicate using text message, a mobile application, email, or a specific website. Some therapists use video chat while others rely on text to communicate.

Therapy via online may be used as a complement to face-to-face therapy or used in lieu of face-to-face therapy. A lot of people do not meet their online therapists in person.

Research Says Online Therapy Is Effective

Research has shown that teenagers are more likely to accept working with therapists who use computer-based therapy, through texting and mobile applications and also through video chat. The quantity and quality of research on the efficacy of each method However, the results are not uniform.

A few of the results of the research that has been conducted suggest that teens can gain from online methods for accessing mental health services.

For instance, a 2016 study of teenagers in Australia found that 72% of teenagers indicated that they would seek online therapy in the event that they had mental health issues. 32% said they would prefer online therapy over meeting face-to face.

In a research study from 2015 teens in a study said that they prefer online therapy to discuss sensitive topics like sexuality. But for other concerns (such as peer conflict, bullying, and general guidance) most teens in the study said they would prefer face-to-face therapy.

The year 2017 saw a team of researchers from Quebec studied the effectiveness of therapy using text messages for Canadian youth. While teens responded well to the use of text messages for communication but the therapists who participated in the study noted that it was harder to deal with complex mental health issues than face-to-face sessions.

A study that was published within the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology in 2016 revealed that although more research is needed, the increasing range of E-therapy programs available to teens and children indicates the efficacy of these techniques of treatment.

On the other hand there are some online ways of delivering therapy services being explored don’t even require a human counselor. In a study conducted in 2017 researchers assessed the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral therapy app called Woebot in young adults with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Many of the participants in the study reported that the use of Woebot was fun and gave the users a greater understanding of their emotions. However, they also acknowledged the app’s technical issues could be a source of frustration.

Potential Benefits

There are a variety of reasons you should think about the option of online therapy for your child in contrast to traditional therapy.

Teens have a comfortable time using the internet. The majority of teens love online chat and therefore therapy on the internet can be more relaxed than speaking to a therapist face-to-face.

Therapy online can be more comfortable. Online therapy for teens could save you time as you do not have to travel to the Therapist’s office. If you have a child who lives in areas that are rural or with limited transportation options or have no access to transportation, online appointments could provide an easier way to access therapy.

There’s less of a stigma that is attached to it. A lot of teens are embarrassed by going to a therapist, and may fear their peers will find out they’re in treatment. Online therapy can ease many of these worries.

It may be less expensive. The costs for online therapy are lower than the in-person sessions, which means it might be more affordable.

Potentially Negatives

There are some drawbacks parents should be aware of prior to enrolling their child in online therapy. Here are some of these possible disadvantages

The issue with technology may cause problems. If your internet stops working, you won’t be able to get in touch with your counselor. The use of special software for protecting the privacy of your information could be complex.

The insurance company may not provide coverage for the cost of online therapy. While your insurance provider may cover the cost of in-person treatments, you may not have coverage for the use of telehealth.

In the absence of face-to face contact, it may impair the treatment. Mental health professionals are able to learn a lot of information through watching someone’s body language. If your teenager is communicating via electronic mail, the psychologist won’t be able to discern your teen’s body language , or listen to the inflection in your teen’s voice. Although video chat might be more effective than email, it’s not a replacement for face-to-face interaction.

Your teenager’s writing abilities may be insufficient. The internet requires your teenager to be competent in reading and remembering data from their therapy. It also requires that they be able to express themselves effectively in writing. Teens who struggle with written communication will not be suitable candidates for online therapy.

Transferring to other services might be more challenging. Your therapist might not reside in your town and may not be aware of local services within your city. This could cause problems if the therapist is considering making referrals to other local resources, for example, a psychiatrist or a support group.

Boundaries may get blurred. Online chats and text messages can cause your teenager to view the mental health professional more than a person to talk to, rather than as a service provider. The blurred lines can lead to confusion regarding the role of the therapist.

Things to Think About Before Signing Your Teen’s Up

Just because your teen is a fan of therapy on the internet doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You must consider the dangers and benefits thoroughly.

Before seeking an online therapy program for your teenager, ask the following questions about the service you’re thinking of using.

Does the therapist have a license? Just because someone says he offers online therapy doesn’t mean that they are licensed to provide mental health services. There are many who pretend to be mental health specialists, however they’re not licensed. Life coaches, online mentors or others who offer advice might not have the right qualifications.

Is online therapy the best alternative? Online therapy isn’t suitable for all conditions. If your teen is engaging in dangerous behavior, such as using drugs, or are expressing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, in person treatment is more suitable.

What will be the procedure to keep information secure? The mental health professionals have to keep the details confidential. Therefore, it’s crucial to inquire what security measures are in place to ensure your teen’s private information isn’t compromised.

What are the terms of payment? Online therapists have their own payment methods. Some of them allow patients to pay monthly fees for unlimited emails, whereas others offer video sessions that are charged at an hourly rate. Make sure you find out how you’ll be billed and how much before you begin treatment.

How can I get involved with treatment? While your teen must have access to private conversations with the therapist with no need for you to be present, it is important for you to understand how you can assist your teen’s efforts. In the traditional office, you may be able to join in.

How do records are kept? Find out how the therapist plans to maintain documentation. Each therapy session will be documented? Do notes from therapy be provided to the physician who is treating you upon request? A reputable online therapist should be in a position to provide information about how the information will be recorded and stored.

How do therapists handle situations of crisis? Online therapy can be complicated when there is a crisis. Find out what the therapist could take action in the event of a crisis, such as who would the therapist contact in the event that your child said she was contemplating killing herself?

Where to Start

If you’re thinking about online therapy for your child, or suspect that your child might be suffering from a mental illness first talk to the doctor of your teenager. It is important be sure to exclude any other underlying health conditions that could contribute to mental health issues that could be troubling.

Your teenager’s doctor can guide on whether online therapy is a good option for your teenager based on his needs. If your teen has an extremely serious mental health issue or the doctor has concerns regarding the security risks, then online therapy may not be the best solution.

If your doctor believes that online therapy might benefit your teenager, then contact your health insurance company. Learn whether online therapy is covered, and ask if they have preferred providers.

Then, discuss with your teenager about online therapy. Discuss the possible advantages as well as disadvantages of seeing a counselor in person versus online.

Take your teen’s opinion to be considered. Whatever treatment your child receives the amount of time she invests and her interest in the process will make an enormous difference in the effectiveness of the therapy will be.