June 29, 2023Reading Time: 4 minutes
Online therapy has become more available, especially since COVID-19. Online therapy became more widespread because of the pandemic, and it has shown to have lasting benefits and advance the accessibility of therapy for all people, especially young people. Teens often have difficulties with approaching therapy because they need their parents’ help or have limited in-person therapy options.
With online therapy, there are more options for you to find a therapy program that meets your personal needs and understands your complex mental health picture. This can help alleviate the stress that often comes with parents and teens wanting to find help with mental health. There are many benefits to choosing an online therapy program. In some cases, online therapy may be the best format of therapy for a teen based on their location or their mental health needs. Here are a few online therapy benefits that teens and their parents should consider:
- Staying in the comfort of their home
Going to therapy in an unfamiliar office can create added stress and anxiety for teens who are already trying to understand themselves and improve their mental health. Having the ability to work with a certified mental health clinician from home can be relaxing and comforting as teens can be in a familiar space. Instead of going to an unfamiliar office, and possibly dealing with a long commute, you can meet with your therapist without having to leave home.
- Working to ease social anxieties or other stresses
Social anxieties can cause immense stress throughout the day, especially for teens who may go to school and feel that anxiety is controlling their life. Time at school can be difficult for teens with social anxiety who have trouble in social spaces. Being at home can feel like a break from those social situations. Being at home can help you feel like you aren’t yet again in a judgmental or suffocating space during your therapy. If you’re suffering with social anxiety, you may feel much more comfortable in an online session because you’re in your own environment.
- Easing the need for a large time commitment
Teens can be overwhelmed with school, sports, friends, family, relationships and college decisions. Going to in-person therapy sessions may be seen as taking even more time out of your already busy life. This view may turn some teens away from finding help. However, regular virtual or online therapy sessions can help reduce the impact therapy has on your (and your parents’) busy schedules. The increased convenience of online therapy may help you if you’re on the fence about going to therapy. It can help you be less apprehensive about how attending or continuing to participate in therapy may affect your daily schedule.
- Giving teens who move a lot greater continuity
Teens who have to move a lot already may face difficulties in developing social and emotional skills. This can hamper their ability to find friends and make meaningful connections. If you’ve moved around a lot, using online therapy options can help empower you with continuity. You might not have continuity with a brick-and-mortar therapist because you would need to search for a new therapist again after every move. This could be disheartening for you because the lack of therapist continuity makes it harder to build a relationship with a therapist. By using a virtual therapy program, you can maintain a steady and deeper relationship with your therapist. In turn, this can benefit your ability to improve your mental health.
- Giving teens more stability in their environment
Virtual therapy programs allow teens to have a space and time in their home where they feel safe and heard. Teens in unstable or unsupportive households may feel that their home is not a comfortable space. If you have such feelings, working with an online therapist can help you find a bit of stability within your own home. Your program can also encourage you to create other pieces of stability within your home environment. Some online therapy programs can even include sessions with your family. These sessions allow the therapist to work with your family to create a more stable and supportive environment for you.
- Providing the same help as in-person therapy
Some may feel that online therapy, or telehealth, is not an equal alternative to traditional, in-person therapy. However, the American Psychological Association (APA) disagrees, stating that telehealth “is equivalent to face-to-face care.” For this and other reasons, online therapy has become more widely used as providers see it as a way to reach more people. With online therapy being offered at more offices, providers are working to ensure that the quality of service and options available are the same as brick-and-mortar therapy.
- Increasing therapy options in underserved areas
Many teens who grow up in rural or small towns may face a lack of mental health resources as a town could have only one or two providers. However, with online therapy, it doesn’t matter where you are, so if you don’t have the transportation or resources to move somewhere else, you can still have access to more mental health resources. And even if you have a small mental health infrastructure in your town or local area, you are still able to find therapy programs that can meet your specific needs. Telehealth has helped create great strides in health equity for those historically underserved in mental health care like those in rural or undeveloped areas.
Discover how Lightfully’s vIOP program can help teens with their mental health struggles
Online therapy through Lightfully is known as a virtual intensive outpatient program (vIOP), and it can be a place of stability for teens as they work to improve their mental health. Lightfully’s licensed clinical specialists can work with you to create a vIOP that’s tailored to your needs. A few of the features that our vIOPs include are:
- One individual session with your primary therapist every week
- Three to six hours of mental health programming daily
- Ongoing family therapy
- Daily group therapy sessions
- Individualized weekly treatment plans
- Monthly meetings with your collective treatment team
Change is possible. If you’re interested in online therapy for your mental health, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.