Can Online Anxiety Counseling for Kids and Teens REALLY Be Brief?

Photo of an Asian teen sitting on a playground ladder looking anxious representing what a teen might look like before receiving online anxiety treatment for kids in Illinois or Florida.


How is that possible, you might ask? After all, you’ve had counseling yourself and it lasted for several months or even years. Or perhaps you’ve heard the often quoted “statistic” that individuals need anywhere from 12 to 20 counseling sessions in order to resolve a problem or make changes in their lives.

While those numbers can be true for people attending traditional counseling, it simply isn’t true for all therapy approaches.

Thankfully, therapy has evolved over the years!

For example, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a widely recognized and respected counseling approach that kids and teens respond exceptionally well to. It has been extensively researched, produces great results and works much more quickly than other approaches such as play therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.

SFBT is essentially a questions-based approach in which the conversation centers around your child’s strengths, talents, skills, and resources. These qualities are then highlighted and drawn upon to create the change your child desires.

Underlying Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is also the belief that change can happen quickly. Because your child’s strengths already exist, it often takes less time to put them to use in addressing the anxiety or problem. In fact, the average number of sessions when using the SFBT approach is 5!

Anxiety Treatments for Kids and Teens Need to Provide Relief Quickly

The vast majority of kids and teens do not have the patience for long-term therapy. If they’re going to spend time in counseling, they want to experience change as quickly as possible. And who can blame them?

Anxiety can feel really painful to kids and teens. It physically and emotionally hurts to live day in and day out with fear, stress, worry and loss of self-esteem. Most kids and teens want relief quickly. And while no therapist can magically wave away all anxiety instantly, SFBT therapists are trained to get results in the shortest time possible.

3 Reasons Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Works So Well with Anxious Kids and Teens

Here are 3 reasons Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) works so well with anxious kids and teens:

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is Different  

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is different from traditional counseling approaches in thatPhoto of a smiling little cauasian girl playing on the steps of a city playground representing the results of online anxiety treatment in Illinois using solution focused brief therapy. the therapist does not view themselves as the expert. Instead, I ask solution-focused questions that allow kids and teens to build change in their lives for themselves.

SFBT has also been described as a “hope” approach because both the questions and the conversation between the therapist and child are driven by hope.

I ask kids and teens to describe a world that’s hopeful to them. Then I help them to connect who they currently are to who and where they want to be. As hope is generated and focused on, hope grows and is one of the driving forces of change.

And as an SFBT therapist, all of my questions align with the belief that everyone (including your child) is capable of change.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is Effective

We don’t know exactly how SFBT works – only that it does.

Your child answers questions in ways they’ve never heard themselves talk before. And in doing so, new pathways open up that lead them to noticing differences and making changes in their life.

SFBT not only challenges them to think and shift their pattern of attention but also their thought patterns that keep problems alive.

Numerous evidence-based studies demonstrate SFBT’s effectiveness in working with all types of people. In fact, in 43 controlled outcome studies, 97% reported significant or positive benefit.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is Quick   

SFBT is different from other approaches around the assumption of why clients come in for therapy.

Even though a problem may have triggered your child coming for therapy, my assumption as a SFBT therapist is that your child wants something.

And as a result of having that different assumption, it sends the conversation in a different direction. The resulting conversation opens up more possibilities and avenues for change.

I don’t spend multiple sessions assigning a diagnosis, digging into the problem, reviewing your child’s past, developing a treatment plan or creating action steps.

Instead, I tap into their motivation (every child is motivated by something) because the pull of what they want is often a lot stronger than the push away from what they don’t want.

In a nutshell, SFBT highlights your child’s strengths, resources and resilience to bring about change. By having a hopeful conversation together, we expand their vision of what’s possible in life.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Can Help with Child Anxiety

If your child is in need of professional treatment, I would be honored to help.

I’ve helped many kids and teens with anxiety feel and function better in their lives. In just a handful of sessions using Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), kids and teens develop the skills and confidence they need to reduce the anxiety in their lives. It’s not only a highly effective counseling process but it also enables them to create change in the shortest possible time.

Begin Online Therapy for Kids and Teens with Anxiety in Illinois and now Florida!

If your child or teen is struggling with anxiety, there is hope! Anxiety is highly treatable and online anxiety treatment at Briefly Counseling can help.

Using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, I help kids and teens reduce their anxiety and build resilience so they can become a happier, more confident version of themselves.

And kids love being able to receive counseling from the comfort and privacy of their own home. Studies have consistently proven that online therapy delivers equal results to in-office counseling.

As an experienced and caring therapist, I love providing counseling for anxiety. To start your child’s counseling journey, call me at 224-236-2296 or email to schedule a FREE 20-minute consultation.

Helena Madsen, MA, LCPC is the founder of Briefly Counseling. I specialize in providing online short-term anxiety treatment for kids and teens ages 7 – 18 as well as Christian counseling.

Whether you’re on the North Shore, in Naperville, Chicago, Champaign, Barrington, Libertyville, Glenview, or downstate Illinois, I can help.

And effective 2024, I am now licensed in Florida! For parents in Jacksonville, Pensacola, Destin, Crestview, Coral Gables, Weston, Parkland, Naples, Marco Island, and Pinecrest, I have immediate openings.

Schedule your appointment or consultation today. I look forward to working with your child to quickly and effectively help them in activating their strengths, resources, and resilience, in order to live with confidence and hope.