No matter what technical, personal, or emotional issues your child faces, there’s an online counselor available to help. Therapy is making its way to the digital age, offering children and teens the chance to receive treatment for various issues without ever leaving their homes.
Before getting started, it’s essential to understand how it works, as well as the potential risks and benefits of online therapy compared to in-person treatment.
How online therapy works
For the most part, most therapy sessions can be held via computer, tablet, or smartphone. Depending on your child’s age, needs, and preferences, you may be able to let your child communicate with their therapist in a way that best suits them.
If you’re involved as a parent, the therapist or counselor may request your input into any symptoms or problems your child’s experiencing. They may also interview you about your child’s history or any family history of mental health issues.
After the initial assessment, your therapist will discuss treatment options, recommendations, confidentiality, and answer any questions you may have.
Benefits of online therapy
- Since online therapy is done from the comfort of your own home, it feels more confidential, which makes it easier for kids to talk about complex topics.
- Video and texting mimic the way that children are most comfortable communicating with friends. Nowadays, kids have grown up using technology, so talking to someone online can feel second nature. Most likely, they’ll feel entirely comfortable with the process.
- Therapy may be more accessible. Children in rural areas may have better access to therapists when they’re able to see someone online.
- Kids can create their own “safe space” for sessions that include all their favorite comfort items: loveys, dogs, and favorite snacks allowed!
- For parents with hectic work schedules or non-traditional work hours, online sessions are easier to manage than in-person sessions because there is no commute needed.
- In-home sessions can help kids and therapists work through challenging behaviors at “the scene of the crime,” making it easier to practice new behaviors and coping skills. Some kids enjoy doing role-plays of difficult situations using their toys as aids in finding healthier ways to resolve conflicts with siblings.
A few things to keep in mind
For some kids, individual therapy online may not be the best choice. While some issues can be solved in session, other kids may benefit from another type of therapy, such as family counseling or face-to-face sessions, when available.
Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Some kids with ADHD may experience an issue with sitting still for more extended periods, especially if they’re younger. Your therapist may incorporate extra movement or other helpful strategies to make it easier for them.
- It’s a little more challenging to pick up on nonverbal cues online, such as subtle facial expressions, body language, and changes in tone. This is true for both the therapist and the client. If a child already has trouble picking up on social cues, it may be something to keep in mind.
- Technological problems can interfere with therapy. For families with slow Internet, online therapy can be problematic. Technical glitches with software or issues with electronics can also interfere with therapy.
- While some may fear online therapy may be too impersonal, others may feel more comfortable opening up when they aren’t sitting across from a therapist in the same room. Similarly, while some kids may struggle to make a connection, others may be able to connect more with a therapist online.
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, or you have some concerns about their mood and behavior, it may be essential to consult with a professional.
Here at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, safety is our priority, and so is your health. We understand that many of you deal with a “new normal” and have had to adapt to the many changes in your day-to-day lives. Even if we cannot physically see you face-to-face, our promise to see you achieve personal wellness and be your very best selves is still vital.
To learn more about assessment and treatment options for ADHD, schedule a consultation at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic.