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  • Writer's pictureMike Chang

Virtual Therapy: The Preferred Way of Counseling for Teens

Updated: Feb 2

Online Counseling

Virtual Therapy: The Sociable Way for Teens

Youth today are under more pressure and stress than ever before. This can result in a variety of behaviors and symptoms. Without treatment, these issues can make the process of transition to adulthood more difficult and they could even develop into mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety commonly begin to manifest themselves in the teenage years. A virtual counseling can determine if your teen has a mental illness. Moreover, they can help teenagers to learn techniques to reduce stress and anxiety and to create positive experiences during the challenging teenage years.


Online Counseling for Teens

A counselor for youth can help them to develop emotionally in a healthy way. The physical and emotional changes during puberty combined with external stresses can make this a difficult period. High school students are confronted with a lot of stress during the school year. These may include problems at school, pressure from teachers or the stress involved with college applications. The chance to chat with a qualified professional or even a school counselor can give students the guidance they need to pass through this period and into adulthood with greater ease. Teen counselors are experts at getting troubled teens to talk about what is bothering them without intimidating or judging them.


Why Teenagers Don’t Like Therapy


They Don’t Fully Understand What Therapy Is

Teenagers don’t necessarily understand what therapy is. Learning more about what therapy involves and what it aims to do can help teenagers to accept that it might be a good idea for them. They could, perhaps, realize that it can provide a safe place for them to express themselves.


Teens Think They Don’t Need Therapy

Most youths think they don’t need therapy and that they will only be receiving it at the request of an adult such as a parent, teacher, doctor, or judge. Yet, if they were more open to learning about what therapy can do for them; they may realize that it could, in fact, be just what they need to help them to feel more like themselves again.


They Don’t Want to Be in Therapy

To teens, the concept of “being in therapy” can sound like they have something seriously wrong with them or that they are crazy. They need to understand, however, that therapy during the teen years can help to prevent serious problems in later life.


The Importance of Therapy for High School Students

Youths experience a huge range of different changes that can cause stress. Their bodies are changing, their hormones are running wild, they are losing old friends and making new ones, and they have to adjust to the many changes after middle school. They are under constant pressure to maintain good grades in school and academic or social problems can cause added anxiety. Moreover, parents often unwittingly add to the pressure.

Additionally, in high school, students have to begin making careers choices and they have to start thinking about college admissions. These days, it all happens at a far younger age than ever before. All of this can make the teenage years a very challenging time during which many youngsters could benefit from the support and guidance of a virtual counselor.


What Is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is also known as virtual counseling, e-therapy, telepsychology, web therapy, text therapy, phone therapy, internet therapy, or internet counseling. Instead of physically meeting face to face in a doctor’s office, virtual counseling allows a person to meet with a therapist over the internet. Communication is frequently over a video chat which allows the therapist to observe body language and to hear inflections and tones in the speech. Some therapists, however, prefer to use text messages, email, a mobile app, or to work through a specific website. Online therapy can be used alongside traditional visits to the therapist but many people use it exclusively and never actually meet their therapist in person.


Virtual Therapy

3 Reasons Why Teens Might Prefer Virtual Counseling


Teens are Comfortable With the Internet

Today’s teen spend a lot of time chatting online with their friends and, therefore, they feel comfortable communicating this way. It is also not a intrusive way for teens and they will feel comfortable over online than in person sessions.


Virtual Counseling Seems Less “Forced”

You can take part in online therapy from anywhere at any time. It is very convenient and it will feel more natural and normal. The flexibility to just go online rather going into a facility will made the sessions a lot more comfortable and less pressure for the teens.


It Eliminates Stigma

There is still, unfortunately, a stigma attached to therapy. Most teens would feel embarrassed if their friends knew they were in therapy. Virtual counseling is more private and teens do not need to reveal that they are receiving therapy.


Things to Consider Before Your Teen Starts With Online Therapy

Before starting online therapy, you will need to have a good reliable internet connection. If your child is going to communicate via text messages, they should be able to read and to express themselves clearly in writing. Make sure that the therapist you choose is a licensed mental health provider in your state. You could have a simple consultation before starting therapy if you are unsure about the therapist.


Are Counseling Sessions Confidential?

Virtual counseling sessions, just as in-person ones, are completely confidential even for minors. Therapists use special software to keep all your information private. Ask the therapist how they will store your records and if they can send copies to your local doctor if required.


What Is the Cost of Online Therapy?

Internet counseling can be less expensive than face to face therapy. Some therapists charge a set fee for unlimited monthly e-mails, while some have a per hour fee for video sessions. Be sure to understand the billing system before starting treatment. Online therapy lets you shop around to find the best options as you are not limited to therapists in your area. If you have health insurance, you should check to see if it covers online therapy. You should also find out if they have any preferred providers. Places like Lighthouse Counseling, they take most insurance and offer teletherapy for teens and adults.


Is Online Counseling the Best Option?

Studies have shown that online therapy is a good option for young people. It is especially helpful for issues like anxiety and depression, and it can be just as effective as face to face therapy. Teenagers find it easier to talk about sensitive issues such as sexuality in a virtual situation whereas issues like bullying and peer conflict may be better dealt with in a real setting. In-person treatment is also a better option for youngsters who are exhibiting risky behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, or who have attempted suicide or expressed suicidal thoughts.

While complete privacy may be considered a plus for online therapy it does exclude parental presence and support which might be included in face-to-face sessions.


How to Know If Your Teen Needs Therapy

If your teen is displaying hostility, aggression, extreme moodiness, or seems withdrawn, therapy could help them. If they are self-harming, abusing drugs or alcohol, or have expressed suicidal thoughts help should definitely be sought immediately.

Before starting online therapy, discuss your teen's symptoms with their doctor. He/she may want to run tests to eliminate any physical health issues that could be causing mental health symptoms. Ask if he/she feels that online therapy would be a good option. If your doctor agrees that a virtual counselor could be helpful, then discuss the subject with your youngster. The success of therapy depends on establishing a solid therapist-client relationship so your teenager should be willing to commence with therapy. They should be part of the decision as to whether to receive in-person therapy or online counseling. (https://www.thrivetalk.com/virtual-counselor/)


The increasing availability of teletherapy is crucial for teens. During adolescence, the brain’s pathways are optimized for social connection. Teens are particularly receptive to positive interactions as they learn how to process emotions and regulate behavior in the face of challenge. Positive relationships and support are key factors in developing resiliency, while a lack of positive relationships contributes to psychopathology.

Through therapeutic rapport, mental health professionals act as caring, supportive adults to help teens navigate challenges. Teletherapy may potentially be more effective for adolescents than traditional, in-person therapy for multiple reasons:


  • Teletherapy can feel informal and natural for youth. Adolescents and young adults have grown up with technology and interacting with others via a screen is a normal mode of communication.

  • Video therapy or other forms of teletherapy are often less intimidating than in-person therapy, which can help youth build a relationship with their therapist in a way that is natural and comfortable for them. Many teens and young adults experience difficulty developing rapport with an adult therapist in a face-to-face setting, which can be a barrier to effective treatment, as the therapeutic relationship is one of the most (if not the most) important factors to success in counseling.

  • This newer method of therapy is also practical for teens and adolescents. They can meet with a therapist around their school or work schedules. Further, transportation isn’t an issue in online therapy. Teletherapy renders mental health services more accessible to a greater number of youths.

Teletherapy is not only a viable option for connecting adolescents and young adults with a therapist, but it may also be the best and most preferred option for youth. By meeting youth on their terms, therapists may be able to connect more deeply with them, increasing the likelihood of treatment compliance and positive outcomes.

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