For many adolescents, sitting in the psychologist or therapist’s office and talking about their feelings is not the most attractive … But perhaps, talking to the psychologist over the Internet does not sound so bad and sometimes it can be more effective. . Many parents may wonder if this methodology can actually be effective.
There is evidence that speaking with a trained mental health professional over the Internet can be beneficial for adolescents, and more comfortable for everyone. It is also important to learn about the risks that it may cause and to know if an adolescent is really a good candidate for this type of therapy before starting treatment.
WHAT IS ONLINE THERAPY?
Online or Internet therapy is also known as telepsychology. It allows people to interact over the Internet rather than in a face-to-face room. The therapist can communicate through text messages, mobile applications, emails, or through a specific website. Some therapists use text chat or video chat.
Online or internet therapy can be used in conjunction with face-to-face therapy or can be used as an alternative. Many people never get to meet their therapist in person and that is not a problem for therapy to be effective.
BENEFITS OF ONLINE THERAPY FOR TEENS
There are several reasons why you might consider online therapy for your teenager instead of traditional therapy:
- Teens are comfortable with the internet.
- Online therapy may be more convenient depending on the circumstances.
- There is less stigma about going to the psychologist in person, they feel less ashamed.
But in addition to the advantages, it is also necessary to know the potential disadvantages that you should be aware of before your teenager begins online therapy. Some disadvantages are:
- Problems with technology, like when the internet doesn’t work very well.
- The professional’s insurance does not cover online therapy.
- The absence of face-to-face contact can impair or slow down the treatment (without body language you cannot know all the real information of the subject). New technologies can never match face-to-face interaction.
- There may be written expression problems on the part of the adolescent.
- Referrals to other local resources can be difficult if the therapist is out of the adolescent’s location because of unfamiliarity with services.
- The limits may not be very clear. The adolescent may feel confused and think that the therapist is his friend.
WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK YOURSELF?
Just because your teen is in online therapy doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits. Before looking for online therapy for your teen, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you a really qualified professional? What qualifications do you have? Can you prove it?
- Is online therapy really the best option ? (If your teen is engaging in risky behavior, such as substance abuse, or is expressing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, in-person treatment is more appropriate.)
- How is information kept confidential? (Ask what is the method to ensure that the information is private and is not violated).
- what are the payment conditions? Does it really suit you?
- How can you participate in the treatment?
- How does the therapist keep the records of the documentation you provide?
- If there is an emergency or crisis, how will the professional handle the situation?
If you are considering having your teenager start therapy, first talk to his or her doctor about the best option and rule out any underlying health problems that may be contributing to mental health problems. The doctor will also advise you whether or not online therapy is a good idea depending on the characteristics of your child.