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

Photo of smiling Hispanic boy with glasses with his sister standing behind him also smiling and with her hands on his shoulders. Photo could represent how much hopeful this boy feels since receiving online Christian counseling for anxiety in Illinois or Florida.

Can online anxiety counseling for kids and teens really be brief? Yes!

Perhaps you’ve had counseling yourself and it lasted for several months or even years. Or you’ve heard the often quoted “statistic” that individuals need anywhere from 12 to 20 counseling sessions to resolve a problem or create change in their lives. Certainly, kids and teens with anxiety need at least that many, right?

Not so fast. While 12 to 20 counseling sessions may be true for people attending traditional counseling, it simply isn’t true for all therapy approaches.

Thankfully, therapy has evolved over the years!

What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy?

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a widely recognized and respected counseling approach that kids and teens respond exceptionally well to. It’s been extensively researched, produces great clinical 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 anxiety or the problem. In fact, the average number of sessions when using the SFBT approach is 6-8!

Online Anxiety Counseling for Kids and Teens Need to Provide Relief Quickly

Most 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 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. Kids and teens want relief quickly.

And while no therapist can magically wave away all anxiety instantly, Solution Focused Brief therapists are trained to get results in the shortest time possible.

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

Here are 7 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 that the therapist does not view themselves as the expert.

Photo of smiling Hispanic boy with glasses with his sister standing behind him also smiling and with her hands on his shoulders. Photo could represent how much hopeful this boy feels since receiving online Christian counseling for anxiety in Illinois or Florida.Instead, we ask kids and teens to describe a world that’s hopeful to them. Then we 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 SFBT therapists, all our questions align with the belief that everyone (including your child) is capable of change.

Furthermore, SFBT is highly collaborative and client-centered. This means that we work closely with clients to co-create solutions that are tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

This collaborative approach fosters a sense of partnership and trust between us and your child. Trust is always essential for effective therapy, and especially with children and teens.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy is present and future focused

One of the primary principles of SFBT is its emphasis on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past. Anxious children often feel overwhelmed by worries about what might happen. Focusing instead on the present moment and future possibilities can be empowering.

SFBT helps them shift their focus away from their fears and toward concrete steps they can take to improve their current situation.

The focus of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is on solutions rather than problems

Another key principle of SFBT is its focus on solutions rather than problems. Instead of analyzing the root causes of anxiety, SFBT therapists help clients identify their best hopes and develop strategies for achieving them.

This approach is particularly effective with anxious kids and teens because it encourages them to view their problems as solvable challenges rather than insurmountable obstacles.

By shifting their mindset in this way, children and teens can regain a sense of control over their lives and develop confidence in their ability to cope with anxiety.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy helps kids and teens with anxiety visualize change

One of the hallmark techniques of SFBT is the use of a preferred future description. SFBT therapists ask clients to visualize a day when their best hopes are realized and notice what small details of change might be present.

This technique helps anxious kids and teens break down their activities and interactions into smaller, more manageable steps and identify concrete actions they can take to create change. .

By focusing on incremental progress, SFBT empowers children and teens to take small but meaningful steps towards their best hopes.

The focus of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is on your child’s strengths and resources

Additionally, SFBT places a strong emphasis on the strengths and resources of your child. SFBT therapists help clients identify their existing strengths and assets, such as supportive relationships, coping skills, and past successes, and leverage them to address their anxiety.

This strengths-based approach is particularly effective with anxious children because it helps them recognize their own resilience and capacity for growth, even in the face of adversity

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is effective and works more quickly

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.

Unlike traditional therapeutic methods that delve deeply into past traumas or problems, SFBT focuses instead on tapping into your child’s motivation (every child is motivated by something).

This approach recognizes that the pull of what your child wants is often a lot stronger than the push away from what they don’t want.

As the SFBT therapist works with your child to harness this motivation and to build on their strengths and resources, change comes quickly and inevitably.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy is ideal for online counseling

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a practical and forward-looking approach which makes it ideal for online counseling. Other benefits of online counseling include accessibility, flexibility, and the ability to create a comfortable environment.

For anxious kids and teens, the convenience of accessing therapy from the comfort of their own home can reduce barriers to seeking help. It eliminates the need for travel, which can be tough for those experiencing anxiety, and allows them to engage in therapy in a familiar and safe environment.

In addition, online counseling offers flexibility in scheduling appointments, accommodating the busy schedules of children and their families. This flexibility can help reduce stress and anxiety associated with trying to fit therapy sessions into already packed schedules.

Lastly, online counseling can create a sense of anonymity and privacy, which may be particularly appealing to teens who are hesitant about seeking therapy due to concerns about stigma or judgment. This anonymity can encourage open and honest communication, resulting in a more productive therapeutic process.

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.