Written by Sillie Mugo
Clinical Review by: Jenny Ryan, LCSW-C
Online therapy or teletherapy is a form of telehealth that lets you connect with a mental healthcare provider online rather than in person. These virtual visits take place over the internet with a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Teletherapy has been used for years prior to the 2020 pandemic, as a method of therapy for veterans with PTSD to help them avoid being in public or crowded places and to help them overcome some of the barriers that may come with seeking mental healthcare.1 Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy has become increasingly more common, and families have taken advantage of these services.
Academic research shows that teletherapy provides the same quality of care as traditional therapy. According to the American Psychological Association, teletherapy is just as effective as in-person sessions for treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders. In fact, 96% of Tele-therapists surveyed agreed that teletherapy was an effective treatment, and 93% intended to continue to offer teletherapy post-pandemic.2
At Youme Healthcare, we base our practice on teletherapy, because we believe it works best for children and their families. Here are 4 main reasons why:
- It is how the new generation likes to communicate
The younger generations have grown up with technology. They’re attached to their phones. With telehealth, it’s just like talking with a friend. At Youme Healthcare, we use innovative age-appropriate technology to keep kids engaged and make sessions fun and interactive i.e virtual sandboxes, play therapy, etc.
- It removes the stigma of “going to therapy”
Many adolescents fear that their friends will find out they go to therapy, and for most, that can be embarrassing. With telehealth, we eliminate this barrier.
- It gives parents and caregivers the ability be get involved
Telehealth gives parents, guardians and caregivers the ability to be involved directly in a child’s care, and also to be part of their treatment plan if need be. This allows for a real team approach when it comes to the child’s mental healthcare.
- It helps kids & teens feel more comfortable
Kids & teens often feel more relaxed and open to sharing from the comfort and privacy of their home, on their cell phones or laptops, especially because for some kids, it’s not always comfortable to talk to someone new about their feelings.
- It fits into kids/teens busy schedules
Being able to log into therapy without traveling to a therapist’s office allows busy families the flexibility of fitting therapy into their lives. All they need is a device that’s connected to the internet, and they can attend the sessions from the comfort of their home.
Whether you have tried online therapy or are still a bit apprehensive about the model, the bottom line is that it provides access to mental healthcare with comfort, convenience and is an effective way for children and teens to receive the mental healthcare services they need.
At Youme Healthcare, our unique behavioral and mental healthcare model gives teens and their families greater access to care by making intervention faster, making appointments easier to schedule, fully leveraging Telehealth technology and by helping everyone understand that emotional and behavioral health isn’t something to be ignored.
1Study on Veterans using Teletherapy to treat PTSD https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/veterans-telehealth-offers-access-convenience
2American Psychological Association survey https://www.apa.org/pubs/reports/practitioner/covid-19-2021
Additional Reading: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.998401/full?&utm _source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Psychiatry&id=998401