WHY TEENS AND ONLINE COUNSELING ARE A GOOD MATCH
When your child reaches their teens, it may feel as if a strange transformation has taken place. They speak, look, act, and feel differently. While this transition is normal, of course, there are many pitfalls to watch out for. Your teen may need some help but not even know it. And if they do realize they need help, they might feel uncomfortable about asking for your support. How do you, as a responsible parent, bridge these communication gaps? Once you do get a conversation going, how can you know what kind of help to provide? These and other questions might lead you in the direction of a possible course of action: online counseling and teen counseling!
The Struggles of Teen Life
Hormones spike, peer pressure peaks, and adult responsibilities start to creep into your life as childhood fades. Your teenage years can create indelible memories.
However, for teens that worked their way through 2020, some genuinely unique challenges accompanied some of the more common areas of struggle. Some of those included:
- Trying to fit in
- Online schooling
- Social media minefields
- Body image
- Academic pressures
- Planning for college,trade, etc
- Sexual awareness and activity
- Substance use or abuse
Undoubtedly, teen life has been socially. politically, and physically, taxing. As a result, your teen may also be dealing with isolation, increased anxiety, and loss of familiar routines and rhythms.
What is Online Counseling?
As the name implies, online counseling involves therapy at a distance. In some instances, you and your therapist may prefer to talk on the telephone. Most typically, it occurs via video chat. A format with which most of us are increasingly more comfortable.
Telehealth or teletherapy, as it is often called, has been around for quite a while. During 2020, you might say it went viral. Research shows online counseling to be as effective as traditional, in-person sessions. It also offers some advantages.
Telehealth is more accessible regardless of your location — even for those dealing with an injury, illness, or disability. There’s no commute, of course, and thus, no need to worry about picking out an outfit. Sweat pants and a t-shirt will work just fine.
Why Teens and Online Counseling Are a Good Match
Familiar With Technology and Format
There probably won’t be much of a learning curve for your teen. When it comes to the digital logistics of telehealth, they are usually way ahead of their parents. In addition, after spending much of the past year in online schooling, the format will feel familiar to them. This puts teenagers ahead of the curve. regarding comfort level and focus. They are often quite comfortable with the idea that anything they wish or need to do can be accomplished online.
At any age, you may initially feel self-conscious about seeing a therapist. What if I run into someone I know on the way or, even worse, in the waiting room? Needless to say, this is not a concern when doing therapy from home. Your privacy may feel more protected.
Home Field Advantage
Counseling can be an emotional experience. Having it take place in your own home helps alleviate some of this element. Your teen will pick a spot (probably their room) and should feel more comfortable opening up. This arrangement will, in turn, assist the counselor. They get to see your teen in their “natural habitat,” so to speak. As their parent, no one to tell you how differently your teen may act in a setting like a therapist’s office.
With telehealth, neither counselor nor client is restricted to standard office hours. Hence, the flexible timing of the sessions might be more agreeable to someone in their teens.
Are you concerned about your teen and wondering what steps to take? Reach out today for a consultation to learn more about online counseling and find out if it’s a good match for your child.