Face with joining a dreadfully long National Health Service waiting list, worried parents opted for online counselling instead. The reason? Increasingly more teenagers felt that they couldn’t wait any longer – they were motivated and ready to deal with their issues and quite loved the idea of doing so in the comfort of their homes.
Remote, video or text-based online counselling is growing in popularity in the U.K., and it has all the reasons to do so. Once termed alternative therapy, online counselling is now becoming a common practice favoured by both therapists and clients. This option has been admired for bridging the gap that existed with usual face-to-face therapy around issues like convenience, accessibility, affordability and more.
Research Says – Online Therapy is Working
Studies have shown that teenagers tend to be more responsive to working with therapists using online, or computer-based counselling, through texting and mobile apps, and over the internet using video chat apps. Both the amount and the quality of the available research into the efficiency of each approach, however, have varied.
Most highlights from the research have indicated that teens may benefit from using online methods to access necessary mental health services.
For instance, in a study from Quebec, researchers looked at the effectiveness of online therapy for Canadian youth. Teens responded positively to using an online approach and text messages to communicate, while therapists involved in this study said it was easier to sensitive issues such as sexuality then it was in a face-to-face session. However, some online method of delivering counselling service requires further exploration.
There are some reasons why you might want to consider online therapy for your teen as opposed to traditional ways.
Online counselling can be more convenient. Online counselling can save plenty of time as you don’t have to drive anywhere but your home. For teens with limited access in urban areas, online appointments may deliver easier access.
There’s less of a stigma attached. Often teenagers feel embarrassed about seeing a counsellor. Not only that, but they also feel their peers will judge them if they’re in treatment. An online approach can lessen many of those concerns.
Teens are comfortable with the internet. Teens simply enjoy online chatting, so counselling over the laptop can feel more comfortable than the conventional face-to-face approach.
It may be less expensive. Therapy can be quite expensive. However, online counselling prices may be significantly lower than – in-person approach, so it may be more accessible.
If you suspect your teen has a mental illness, or you’re thinking about online counselling, don’t hesitate to talk to an expert. But ensure you consider your teen’s opinion. Regardless of which treatment your teen will receive, her interest and investment in the process make all the difference in how effective the treatment will be.