Many teens may be interested in or open to counseling, but the thought of sitting in an office may not be the most appealing. As an alternative, teens can seek out licensed therapists online.
Since this kind of therapy for teens stems from the internet, parents may be a bit unsure about the source. However, extensive scientific research shows that online counseling for teens is very beneficial. As long as you are aware of the risks and do research for online therapists, you should have a healthy and fulfilling experience.
What Is Online Counseling for Teens?
There are several names for online counseling, including e-therapy and internet counseling. Overall, it is the opportunity to connect with a trained professional—most often about mental health issues or mental health in general.
Some popular ways teens use this service to communicate is through video sessions, chat sessions, video chats, and email. Depending on the program, you can combine face-to-face interactions or opt for 100 percent virtual teen counseling.
Who Is It For?
Online teen counseling is geared towards teens and adolescents. The ages between 13 and 18 are very developmental and include some hardships, so contacting licensed mental health professionals may be extremely beneficial.
There are no criteria to meet with a licensed, trained mental health professional. However, some issues may be eased through their help. Issues including eating disorders and acquiring coping skills are just some examples.
When Should I Start?
If you feel that your child has a mental illness or should seek out mental health services, first ask your child’s doctor. They have the best professional opinion about your child’s status in the current moment. Plus, they can guide you to the proper treatment and help you get matched with a licensed professional.
Overall, if you think your child has a serious mental health issue, contact the child’s doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, first talk with your teen to gather their opinion and their experiences. After all, it is their well-being that is most important.
There are numerous benefits for having your teen engage with online counseling. Firstly, studies show that teens are more receptive to undergoing counseling using electronic methods like video chat and texting. Additionally, they would also be getting consultation during some of the most formative years of their lives.
Some of the more general benefits of this type of counseling are that it can be more convenient and, more often, less expensive.
What Is the Difference Between Online and In-Person Counseling?
Besides the obvious difference that online counseling conducts therapy virtually, there are some critical differences between the two that may sway you one way.
Online counseling can be more convenient than driving to in-person counseling. It may be a better option for teens who do not have suitable transportation or live-in rural areas.
Online therapy also has less stigma attached. When meeting face-to-face, it is easy to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about mental health. When completing online therapy, there is less stigma and more separation, making teens feel more comfortable.
Despite online therapy being a bit more convenient and often cheaper, in-person counseling is more reliable, seeing as the internet connection can vary. Additionally, your insurance company may be more receptive to paying for in-person.
In-person counseling allows therapists to conduct cognitive-behavioral therapy more easily since they have a better picture of teens’ facial expressions.
Overall, in-person counseling may be better for teens with more serious mental health issues. Most importantly, you should talk with your teen’s doctor to make the final decision.
How Does Teen Counseling Work?
Teen counseling can be conducted differently based on the mental health professional. Sometimes, they may even ask for the teen’s preferred method of communication, whether it is through email, text, or video chat.
Counseling is often a very personalized program, so it is difficult to provide a general description. Overall, online counseling is conducted through different media, so you should find a counselor that makes you and your child most comfortable.
How to Choose the Best Online Teen Counselor
You may be able to find an in-person counselor that also offers online therapy. However, you should be careful about where you find a mental health professional. The best place to start your search is through your child’s doctor. They may be able to point you in the right direction.
Overall, before sending your money and child to a counselor’s guidance, you should always check that they are licensed and properly trained.
Finally, you should always talk with your teen about how they want to do their therapy.
Overall, online counseling can be a very beneficial experience for your teen, especially as they undergo these formative years. Talk to them and their doctor about the next steps and if online counseling is right for them.