Online Therapy for Kids and Children. How Online Counseling Helps.
“It takes a village to raise a child…”
As mental health becomes less of a taboo subject, many parents are seeing the benefits of having help from a psychological expert as part of their village. There is no reason why mental health should be approached any differently than physical health, and just as with physical health, care should start early.
That is where online services, such as this one, can really help. Online counseling for children presents the perfect opportunity to provide children with the psychological help they may need and the tools to live and grow safely and successfully.
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Psychologyhelp assists with a number of practical, effective and high value online counseling for children services designed exclusively for children and aimed at helping parents and kids overcome a number of behavioural issues, or just aid in providing support as they progress through the different phases of growing up.
Let’s be honest though, parents already have a hefty work load. Work, school, cooking, cleaning, extra-curricular activities. Finding the time for mental health can often take a back seat.
Therapy and counselling also offers a proven alternative to drug based treatments. Many parents are averse to turning to drugs, and understandably so as there is a worry children will come to rely on drugs or see them as a solution to other issues they may have further down the line.
Evidence* that psychotherapy interventions are as good as or better that drug based treatments for many condition. This means that therapy is in no way an inferior choice, and also means there are no risks of side effects.
What treatments are available?
Whilst the specific option chosen for online treatment for kids depend on the issue being faced, there are a number of options which are effective across a range of issues. For further information on each specific treatment, please refer to the relevant pages on our site.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT): Identifying negative patterns of behaviour and how these are perpetuated means a plan can be devised to change how we think and act in triggering situations.
- Mindfulness: This can incorporate other interventions and techniques but helps people bring attention to thoughts and feelings that are being avoiding and subconsciously causing problems in their loves.
- Psychotherapy: a talking based approach designed for more long-term treatment for issues like eating disorders and depression.
- Family therapy: often issues do not start and end with just the child, but interweave throughout the family. By involving everyone and allowing strong lines of communication to develop issues such as bereavement, behavioural issues, violent tendencies and family separation can be tackled.
What are the advantages of online therapy for children?
There are a number of advantages inherent in online therapy for children for all involved. As previously mentions, it is convenient for parents who are already stretched for time. Online therapy for kids is also often better value than traditional methods.
For children, online approaches are often less intimidating and there is more of a motivation to engage. Children of today are growing up in a world where digital interaction is second nature. For young people, logging on, whether on a PC, a tablet or a phone, is something they know and are comfortable with and means they can be in a familiar environment during a session. This allows the effects of any intervention be seen sooner.
Are there any risks?
Whilst there isn’t any risk of adverse effects of online therapy for children, just like with all types of therapy, finding the right therapist is important.
A key part of any effective therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client. At psychologyhelp.com, we have a number of therapists of varying social demographics meaning we are confident in having the right therapist for you and your child.
Short and long term benefits
Short term benefits to online therapy from kids include improvement in mood and communication, reduction in stress, reduction in violent behaviour and a more positive outlook.
These and other short term benefits can also have an impact on the situation in the family home.
Children’s behaviour inevitably impacts the parent’s too. Just as undesirable behaviour can create a negative feedback loop, positive behaviours can do the same. As such, a side effect of online therapy for children is an improvement in the living environment, which in turn can contribute to the effectiveness of any treatment plan.
Long term benefits can include, but are not limited to, an improvement in confidence, improved academic results, improved ability to build and maintain relationships and better decision making.
As previously commented upon, a long term benefit is also that online therapy for kids can help educate children and make them more comfortable with accessing psychological therapies, and so they are more likely to do so when needed later in life.
What are they key differences for online counseling for kids compared to adults?
Whereas adults can participate in group sessions, online counseling for kids is usually exclusively done on a 1:1 basis, although there may be exceptions for siblings, although this is still uncommon.
There is also a difference in the level of privacy. Legally, those under 18 years of age do not have the right to confidentiality and privacy from their parents. Often how confidentiality will be handled would be agreed with the parents before the start of any program, or parents are asked to agree with rules the therapist sets. Third party confidentiality rules are similar to those for adults, however.
There are also differences in how informed consent is gained. Under 18s cannot give informed consent and so this must be gained from the parent. Normally, consent is required from both parents, although here are exceptions to this, such as where courts have assigned specific guardianship.
So, if you are experiencing difficulties, or even if you are just interested in giving your child a safe, independent outlet for their thoughts and feelings, you are not the only one and you are not alone. We are here to help.
*Cuijpers, P., Sijbrandij, M., Koole, S. L., Andersson, G., Beekman, A. T., Reynolds III, C. F. (2013) ‘The efficacy of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in treating depressive and anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of direct comparisons’, World Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 2, pp 137-148