Online Counseling for Teenagers. What Are Your Best Therapy Options?
Oh, those teenage years. Simultaneously the best and worst time of your life. The transition from childhood to adulthood brings with it some unique challenges.
There is the rush of hormones changing your physical appearance, abilities and desires. Add to this your understanding of the world changing, leaving school to start work or go to university and shifting family dynamics.
And all of this takes place whilst surrounded by a lot of people going through the same experiences and adults who may have forgotten how difficult this time can be and so are unsympathetic.
Everyone’s experience of adolescence is different.This can be due to schools in how they deal with related psychological and mental health issues, family environments are different, and peer interaction can be incredibly varied. On a personal level, people vary in their levels of resilience too.
For these reasons, and more, online teen therapy is aimed at encouraging two groups to explore the help available: parents who are worried about their children and also teenagers who feel they require support that they cannot get elsewhere.
Our services at psychologyhelp.com take into account all these issues, and more, when looking for the right counsellor and right treatment plan, so you can be sure of a quality service. However, there are many online therapy for teens services available, including apps, and it is important to find the right one for you.
Online therapy for teens, or online counseling for teenagers as the service is also referred to, such as offered by psychologyhelp.com, offers a number of advantages.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage is convenience. Finding time around school, work for parents and those who have left school and part-time jobs for those still at school, can make therapy an awkward to plan for. Online sessions mean therapy can easily fit in around your schedule.
There are also issues concerning how people feel about attending therapy. Unfortunately there is still a stigma surrounding mental health, something that can be made worse by peer groups and the potential for bullying during teen years.
Online therapy for teens means counselling can be kept as private as the client likes.
Furthermore, how the client and therapist interact is key to effective therapy. These days many teenagers are more comfortable communicating using electronic devices than face to face with a stranger. The online dynamic can mean interventions take effect more quickly and to a greater degree.
Confidentiality – what does a therapist have to share?
One of the main concerns everyone has when thinking about any type of therapy, not just online therapy for teens, is confidentiality. Those over the age of 16 in the UK have the right to consent, or withhold consent, to treatment, however this can depend on an individual’s ability to provide informed consent.
When a client is under the age of 16, there is normally a meeting before therapy starts to agree where lines of confidentiality should be drawn. For issues of confidentially concerning those aged 16 and over, the therapist is only obligated to share information in line with the legal requirements, which the therapist should explain to the client before engaging in any therapy.
What does online therapy for teens entail?
As mentioned there are a number of potential routes for online teen therapy and finding the right one for you or your child would involve an initial consultation.
Some of the options for online counseling for teenagers are outlined below:
- Peer group therapy: Sometimes feeling alone or different can be the biggest barrier to overcome. However you are feeling though, there are so many people in the same position, even if they don’t seem to be from your perspective.
Bringing people together helps overcome these feelings as well as providing support in a safe environment.
Peer group therapy sessions can also help those who are more shy about speaking be involved without the pressure of being the centre of attention.
- 1 on 1 talk based therapy: This is perhaps the techniques most people think of when they hear the word therapy. Speaking about you problems to an independent, non-judgemental ear can help organise thought and feelings, bring them into perspective and aid in coming to terms with situations. Along with this the person listening is in a position to provide resources to help where they may be needed.
- Activity-led interventions: These techniques involve a therapist leading a person through a serious of tasks, the efficacy of which have been scientifically demonstrated, in order to change a behaviour or alter a perception from negative to positive.
Interventions are not just worksheet or based or require keeping a journal as is often seen with adults, but can include games, music and other creative outlets that let teenagers express themselves in a manner that is meaningful for them.
- App-based therapy: There are a growing number of online teen therapy based apps. There vary in quality so it is advised that you research them to understand the theory underlying their activities and their efficacy. Also cost does not denote quality, so do not ignore free apps as these can be better than those you need to pay for. However, a good app can really help if the client is sufficiently motivated as they do require the client to take charge of their progress.
Online teen therapy has been designed with the specific needs and vulnerabilities of adolescents in mind. This means finding a service that has been especially designed for teenagers can mean the difference between effective therapy and a frustrating, unproductive experience.
For parents it is important to understand that reaching out for help is not a sign or admission of failure or weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of humility and putting your child first. None of us can do everything, and getting that helping hand when we need it means we can be stronger and more supportive in other areas.
For teenagers, the same is true. Furthermore, seeking help is a sign of maturity. Understanding when to reach out and doing so means taking control of your life and your future, making sure that you can be the best you can be.
Whatever your age or circumstance, we here at psychology help.com are always available, whenever you are ready.