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Potential Benefits Of Online Therapy For Teenagers

For many teenagers, sitting in a therapist’s office discussing their feelings isn’t particularly enticing. But, speaking with an online therapist may not sound too bad.

Many parents ask, however, whether online therapy for teens is could be a good idea. There’s evidence that talking to a mental health professional over the internet could be quite beneficial for teenagers.

It’s crucial to inform yourself on the risks and ensure that your child is an appropriate candidate for online therapy prior to starting treatment.

Online therapy may be called various names, including internet counseling, e-therapy or telepsychology. Much like the name suggests it allows individuals to interact with a therapy therapist online in contrast to meetings in a physical office.

Therapists may communicate by text messages, mobile app, email or a specific website. Some therapists use video chat while others use text only to communicate.

Therapy online can be utilized in conjunction with face-to-face therapy or utilized as an alternative. A majority of people don’t meet their online therapist face-to-face.

Research shows that online therapy is Effective

Studies have found that teens tend to be receptive to working with therapists through computers, texting apps on mobile devices and also through video chat. The quality and quantity of the research that has been conducted into the effectiveness of each technique is, however, varying.

A few of the results of the research that has been conducted suggest that teenagers could get benefits from using web-based tools for accessing mental health services.

For instance, a study of teenagers in Australia discovered that 72% of adolescents said they would access online therapy when they were experiencing a mental health problem. 32% of respondents said they would prefer online therapy over face-to-face sessions.

In a study from 2015 teens in a study said that they would prefer online therapy for discussing sensitive topics like sexuality. However, for other issues (such as bullying, peer conflict and general advice) most teens in the study said that they’d prefer face-to-face treatment.

A study conducted in 2017 by a team of researchers in Quebec assessed the effectiveness of therapy using text messages for Canadian teens. Teens responded well using text messages to communicate, the therapists involved in the study said it was harder to address complex mental health issues when compared to face-to-face sessions.

A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology in 2016 concluded that while more research is needed, the increasing range of e-therapy programs that are available to kids and teens indicates the efficacy of these treatments.

On the other hand the methods for delivering therapy services being explored don’t even require the assistance of a human counselor. In a 2017 study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a web-based cognitive-behavioral therapeutic app called Woebot for young adults suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Many of the people who participated of the study claimed that using Woebot was enjoyable and gave them increased emotional insight. However, some participants noted the app’s technical flaws could be a source of frustration.

Potential Benefits

There are a variety of reasons you might want to look into online therapy for teens instead of traditional therapy.

Teens are at ease with the internet. Most teens enjoy chatting online so therapy on the internet can be more comfortable than talking to the therapist face-to face.

Therapy via the internet can be more comfortable. Online therapy could save you time as you do not have to travel to the clinic for therapy. For teens who live in rural areas or those who don’t have transportation or have no access to transportation, online appointments could provide easier access.

There’s less stigma associated with it. Many teenagers are embarrassed seeing a therapist and they may fear their peers will find out they’re in treatment. Therapy on the internet can help alleviate some of these worries.

It may be cheaper. The cost of online therapy could be lower than in-person therapy so it might be more affordable.

Potential disadvantages

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

Technology issues may be a cause for concern. If your internet goes down it will not be possible to get in touch with your Therapist. The use of special software for keeping confidential information private could be complex.

Insurance companies may not provide coverage for the cost of online therapy. Even though your insurance company might pay for in-person treatments, you may not have coverage for telehealth.

A lack of contact with a person face-to-face can hinder the treatment. Mental health professionals gain a lot of information by watching someone’s body language. If your child is communicating via an email account, the professional won’t be able to read your teen’s body language , or detect the inflection of the voice of your teenager. Although video communication might be more effective but it’s not a substitute for face-to-face interaction.

Your teenager’s writing abilities may be insufficient. In order to communicate online, your teenager needs to be competent in reading and remembering any information provided by the therapy. Additionally, they must be able to express themselves effectively through text. Teens who have difficulty with written communication are not likely to be good candidates in online therapy.

The referral to other services could be more challenging. The therapist you choose to work with may not reside in your city and may not be familiar with local services available in your area. It could be a problem when the therapist is thinking of sending referrals to other local resources, such as a psychiatrist or support group.

Boundaries may get blurred. Online chats and text messages may cause your teen to see a mental health professional as a friend, rather than being a service provider. Blurred boundaries may cause confusion about the therapist’s role.

Things to Think About Before Signing Your Teen’s Name

Even if your child is enthusiastic about online therapy doesn’t mean it’s an excellent idea. You should consider the potential dangers and benefits thoroughly.

Before you sign up for online therapy for your child Consider asking the following questions regarding the service you’re considering.

Does the therapist have a license? If someone claims that he offers online therapy does not suggest that they’re a licensed mental health provider. There are plenty of people who pretend to be mental health specialists, however they aren’t licensed. Live coaches and online tutors or others who offer guidance may not have the appropriate education.

Is online therapy the best option? It’s not suitable for all kinds of conditions. If your child is engaged in risky behaviors, such as using drugs, or are expressing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, in-person therapy is better.

How can information be kept secure? Mental health providers have to keep the details confidential. So , it’s essential to inquire what security measures are in place to ensure that your child’s private data is not compromised.

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

What can I do to be involved in therapy? While your teen must have access to conversations that are confidential with the therapist even without you being present, it is important to be aware of ways you can assist your teen’s efforts. In an office environment that is traditional there is a possibility for you to participate.

How are records kept? Find out how the therapist plans to document sessions. Do all therapy sessions be recorded? Will therapy notes be sent to the primary physician on request? A good online therapist should be able to provide you with details about how the notes will be stored and recorded.

How do therapists handle emergencies? Online therapy can be a challenge when a crisis arises. Find out what the therapist would do in the event of a crisis, such as whom should the therapist call when your teenager said that she was contemplating taking her own life?

Where to Start

If you’re considering online therapy for your teenager or you suspect that your teenager might be suffering from a mental illness begin by speaking with the doctor of your teenager. It is important to rule out any underlying health issues that may contribute to mental health issues that could be of concern.

Your teenager’s doctor can guide you whether online therapy is an appropriate solution based on the teen’s needs. If your child has an illness that is serious to their mental health, or if the doctor is concerned about the safety of online treatment might not be the most appropriate solution.

If the doctor thinks online therapy may benefit your teenager, then contact your health insurance company. Find out whether online therapy is covered and ask whether they have any preferred providers.

Talk to your teenager about online therapy. Discuss the possible advantages and drawbacks of seeing a therapist face-to-face or online.

You should take your teen’s views in mind. Regardless of which type of treatment your child receives their involvement and commitment in the process will make a an enormous difference in the effectiveness of the treatment will be.