7 Benefits of Online Therapy When Dealing with Anxiety in Kids
Online therapy…does it really work? Isn’t it “second rate” to in-person counseling? Is it safe enough when working with kids?
These questions are the most common ones I’ve gotten since opening my practice for online therapy in Illinois, Briefly Counseling, last September. As an online therapist who sees clients, I understand the hesitancy. After all, we often view something new with curiosity or even skepticism.
I never planned on beginning online therapy in Illinois.
The truth is I never planned on opening online counseling in practice. My intent was always to open a small counseling office near my home and start seeing kids and teens there. I had even started asking around about office rentals in the area.
And then Covid-19 hit and blew all my plans out of the water. At first, I felt discouraged and thought I’d have to put my practice on hold until the pandemic had passed. It was my husband who out of the blue one day suggested I start online. Hmmm…interesting suggestion!
The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Plus, as I researched online therapy and the many benefits to my clients, I was hooked.
As a therapist, I’ve come to love online counseling and it’s great for kids.
From the moment we each log into our counseling session, it works just the same as if we were in the same room. We still talk, listen, and laugh together like when we’re in person which I love.
I also appreciate how secure and confidential our therapy sessions are. For example, I use video conferencing systems with strict protections in place to prevent hacking and safeguard sensitive health information. This safety measure is important for any client but especially when working with anxiety in kids and teens.
In addition, there are no permanent videos or voice recordings kept of our online sessions. Great measures to protect your child’s privacy and confidentiality are taken because they’re so important.
Benefits of Online Therapy for Your Anxious Child
Aside from my personal preference as an online therapist, there are also numerous benefits to your child. Anxiety can be really tough on kids whether it’s irrational fears, phobias, obsessive thoughts, and even compulsions. It physically and emotionally hurts to live day in and day out with fear, stress, and worry. It’s hard on your child and it’s equally hard on you as a parent.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether online anxiety therapy in Illinois is the right choice for your anxious child, read further to discover the 7 benefits of online therapy.
Benefit #1 – Online therapy in Illinois is quiet and private.
You identify a quiet room for you and your child that is equipped with a computer, internet access, and webcam. Then we each log onto my safe, confidential online video conferencing system to meet for a private counseling session. It’s really that simple.
Kids with anxiety love the fact that they can meet privately without anyone knowing they’re in counseling. Your child doesn’t have to answer questions from classmates about why they’re leaving school early to get to a therapy session. And more importantly, they don’t have to worry about running into a classmate in the waiting room.
It happens more often than you think. Several years ago, I worked at a counseling office where we saw many kids and teens from a nearby school. Inevitably, classmates saw each other in our crowded waiting room and it often led to some embarrassment. Online counseling allows your child to seek treatment in private without drawing attention to themselves.
Benefit #2 – The familiarity in video chatting is great for anxiety in kids.
You’ve seen your kids on their phones and iPads and chances are good that they often help you with yours! Kids are digital natives and are very comfortable communicating on their technology. They don’t even remember a world when technology didn’t play a huge part in their lives. That’s why online therapy can feel comfortable and familiar to them.
Video chatting actually mimics the way kids are most comfortable communicating with friends. I’m often surprised at how quickly kids open up to me even though I’m a stranger and we’ve never met before. It’s as if some invisible barrier has been removed and we can dive deep right away in our counseling relationship. In some respects, online therapy may feel “safer” than visiting an office and having to share difficult feelings with an adult in person.
Benefit #3 – You have increased access to specialized online therapists.
Not every therapist can treat every mental health disorder. There are simply too many disorders to be competent in all of them. As licensed and ethical therapists, we do not practice outside our scope of competency, experience, or education. Whenever we do want to specialize in a new counseling approach or disorder, it often requires new certifications and lots of training.
So, when you’re looking for a therapist to help with anxiety in kids, you want to make sure they have the experience, training, and skills needed to help your child. For example, if your 7-year-old child suffers from obsessive thoughts, wouldn’t you want to see a therapist who works with kids on this issue all the time? Of course! But what if there are no therapists in your area who specialize in this specific issue? Thankfully, with online therapy in Illinois, this dilemma is eliminated. Help is almost always available when you extend your geographic reach. For example, I can treat all kids in Illinois struggling with obsessive thoughts thanks to technology.
Benefit #4 – Online therapy is more accessible.
When dealing with severe anxiety in kids, people have found it especially challenging to leave their homes. They may be struggling with phobias or irrational fears that make going out extra difficult. In other cases, they might suffer from social anxiety which involves intense fear of social situations. Just thinking about going to an office and talking to a therapist can cause panicked thoughts.
Likewise, there are many kids with either health concerns or disabilities who find it much too difficult to leave their homes. Many counseling offices are not wheelchair accessible due to stairs and lack of elevators. Even for those offices with zero barriers to entry, it can still be hard to access the counseling room. The majority do not have widened doorways necessary for wheelchairs to easily pass through. And then there’s the issue of bathrooms for people with disabilities, which unfortunately are still rare in older buildings. Thankfully, therapy makes any physical or emotional barrier to in-person counseling a non-issue.
Benefit #5 – Kids with anxiety can relax in a familiar environment.
Let’s face it…counseling can be intimidating whether it’s in person or online. Meeting with a stranger for the first time who wants to talk about fears and worries can feel strange and well…scary. With online therapy, kids experiencing anxiety symptoms have the advantage of surrounding themselves with special toys or stuffed animals that bring them comfort. Kids can choose to have their parents sit right next to them during our session or have them sit a little farther away – whatever their preference is.
As an online therapist, I also love getting a glimpse into my clients’ world and how they interact in it. I’ve had kids take me through their house and give me a tour of their iPhones. I’ve met so many cute dogs and cats that lovingly sit (or sleep) by a child’s side throughout our session. I see first-hand how much comfort their pets bring them and the support and love they provide. I even include their pets in our therapy sessions sometimes which is always a welcome surprise.
Benefit #6 – Online therapy saves time, effort, and money.
By far, online therapy sessions are easier for you as a parent to manage because you do not need to commute to an office. No fighting the notorious Chicago afternoon traffic and no rushing your child from school! You drive straight home where your child can have a snack, wind down, and then log on for their counseling session. If you have other kids in the house, you can safely keep an eye on your child while attending to your other children.
Online counseling also cuts down on other costs such as hiring a babysitter to watch your other kids while you and your child are at counseling as well as paying for transportation (gas, parking, transit, etc.) to visit a therapy office. There’s a reason why we’re seeing online therapy in Illinois continue to grow in popularity – people love its affordability and ease of access. It also allows you to do counseling on your schedule, wherever you feel most comfortable.
Benefit #7 – Therapy works for anxiety in kids!
Studies have consistently proven that online therapy delivers equal results to in-office counseling. In fact, in many instances, it can be preferable to kids experiencing anxiety symptoms for all the reasons just listed. Moreover, researchers have studied how kids respond to computer-based therapy and found that it can be helpful for both depression and anxiety. According to the study, kids spend so much time on their phones and other devices that this form of therapy may come more naturally to them.
Without a doubt, online therapy is here to stay. I’m convinced it’s the wave of the future, and although Covid-19 might have more officially launched it into early success, all signs indicate that it will only grow in popularity and effectiveness.
Begin Online Therapy in Illinois with Briefly Counseling Today!
If online counseling feels like a good fit for your child’s needs, then Briefly Counseling provides anxiety therapy in Illinois, which can help provide perspective for your young ones. At my online counseling practice, I specialize in faith-based counseling, teen anxiety, and anxiety in young children. To start counseling, follow these simple steps:
- Click on the Schedule an Appointment button.
- Select a day and time in my online calendar
- Or learn about me, your caring online therapist
- Watch your child gain confidence and feel better
Any questions? Feel free to reach out to me personally at (224) 236-2296 or fill out my contact form here.
Other Counseling Services at Briefly Counseling
Along with online therapy in Illinois, Briefly Counseling also provides anxiety treatment for kids, anxiety treatment for teens, and Christian counseling for those looking for help from a spiritual perspective. I look forward to working with you and your children. Lastly, I provide all services via online therapy in Illinois. Whether you’re in Riverside, Chicago, Champaign, Rockford, Peoria, or Quincy. I look forward to working with your child or teen. Begin counseling today!