Why Online Therapy is Great for Kids and Teens with Anxiety!
When it comes to managing anxiety in kids and teens, it can sometimes feel like there are limited options for treatment. With the right resource, however, online therapy can be a great option for those dealing with anxiety.
Not only is it easier to access than traditional in-person therapy, but it can be beneficial to both parents and young people as it offers a safe, secure and confidential environment.
Why I Love Online Counseling as an Anxiety Therapist for Kids and Teens
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 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, social anxiety, or self-esteem challenges. 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 is the right choice for your anxious child, read further to discover the benefits of online therapy.
Benefit #1 – Online therapy 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 works great for 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 irrational fears, 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 irrational fears 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 physical symptoms 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 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, online 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.
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 on 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.
Online counseling for kids and teens is a great way for them to take control of their anxiety and incorporate long term wellness into their lives. It offers many benefits such as helping them learn healthy coping strategies, allowing for more flexibility in timing, providing a more comfortable atmosphere, and allowing for a better connection between therapist and client.
With all its advantages, it’s no wonder why so many young people are opting for online counseling as a way to manage their anxiety. Online counseling provides kids and teens with the resources to take control of their lives, mental health, and overall wellbeing.
Begin Online Therapy for Kids and Teens with Anxiety in Illinois and now Florida.
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 Helena@BrieflyCounseling.com to schedule a FREE 20-minute consultation.
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.