Now, more than ever, there are solutions to many of the problems that plague teens on a day-to-day basis, including the fact that many will be stuck at home as school is suspended because of coronavirus. Online therapy is one of the best channels to help teens understand their issues while learning coping skills that will help them face their struggles moving forward. If you are a parent of a teen or are a teen who is struggling with an emotional issue, here’s where you should begin.
What Exactly Is Therapy for Teens?
While you might be thinking, “Therapy is therapy”, so what is the big deal about “teen therapy?” Well the difference is in finding a counselor who specializes in the unique needs of teenagers and what they might be going through.
Teenagers face a wide variety of struggles and finding an appropriate and capable therapist is critical to their success. Their world just doesn’t look the same, feel the same, or act the same as others, so it only makes sense that their therapy sessions don’t play out the same either.
Even better is that teenagers are technologically savvy, so online therapy is an easy fit for their busy lives. While one might think adding more technology to their worlds is not a great idea considering how much time they already spend on their devices, in truth, offering therapy to teens in a familiar medium might make them more likely to stay committed to the process. It is more accessible and less time consuming for them which is a big draw for the lives of busy teenagers.
What to Know Before You Choose
All sites require parental or guardian permission for a teen to access services. This process might vary from site to site, so please be mindful and check each for its specific requirements. Additionally, before you sign up for a site that claims to offer just what your teen is looking for, be sure to check off these boxes.
Privacy and confidentiality
Make sure the therapist has experience working with teens and specializes in developmentally appropriate techniques. Someone with expertise will avoid using labels and will understand the root issues that are being addressed. Most sites allow for a change in therapist if there is a personality clash or the match doesn’t feel like a good fit, so make sure the teen knows that feeling comfortable and connected to their therapist is imperative for a successful therapeutic relationship.
The Best Online Therapy for Teens
Now that you know what to look for, here are a few top recommended online therapy services for teens. Compare your options, and go with the one that best fits your teen’s needs, personality, and circumstances.
- Exclusively dedicated to teen issues
- Works off of your mobile device
- Smart questionnaire for more accurate pairing
Teen Counseling is the only site that is dedicated to only teenagers. It offers complete confidentiality with a solid parental consent policy built-in. Teens can chat with their qualified therapist whenever they want from their phones, review previous sessions, and schedule new sessions with ease. What’s more, Teen Counseling begins the process with a detailed questionnaire that facilitates a thorough client to therapist match.
- Highly-acclaimed in the industry
- Sleek mobile app
- Choose from video, phone, or chat sessions
BetterHelp is not just another online therapy service — it is one of the best ones out there. For one thing, you can take your pick from 4,000+ therapists within the network. Being paired with a therapist is easy, and fast after you complete the initial intake. And with so many therapists, you can be sure that there are a lot of professionals who specialize in working with teenagers.
BetterHelp also has an easy to use mobile app. Regardless of the device you choose, all of your sessions are conducted and stored for easy access later on. This is great for teens who want to look over what their therapist said in a previous session to gain clarity or revisit some good advice.
- Caters to Christian teens
- Unlimited chat messages
- SMS chat, video, and phone sessions available
Faithful Counseling is another great option for teens because it’s affordable, easy-to-use, and has many highly qualified therapists. Faithful Counseling also has another benefit for a specific niche: Christian teenagers. This subset of the greater adolescent community may often feel segregated and unable to share their issues and feelings with those who don’t have the same faith or background. But Faithful Counseling offers religious teens the chance to be heard, get help, and find someone who really knows about their struggles and can support them.
- Wide range of therapists to choose from
- Flexible subscriptions, ideal for teens
- Chat session is always available 24/7
Online-Therapy.com takes a radically different approach to online counseling, and that might be why teens like this program so much. Instead of waiting around for your session to come up each week, Online-Therapy.com provides clients with reading sections, homework assignments, and worksheets to fill out. This means that a lot of growth can happen between sessions.
You’ll also have access to SMS and live chat sessions where you can discuss your weekly activity plan, any of the assignments, and any difficulties you’ve been having. It’s a holistic approach that really sees results.
- Caters to LGBTQ teens
- Strict confidentiality policy
- Supports all genders, orientations, and identities
Pride Counseling focuses on a niche community of teens that are often overlooked through traditional channels. At this stage in life, many teens struggle with questions about their sexuality, intimacy, and/or identity. Pride Counseling creates a safe, non-judgmental, and empathic space where kids can discuss their feelings, express their concerns, and voice their own opinions.
Pride Counseling is run by trained professionals who work with teens and bring thousands of hours of hands-on experience to the table. If your teen is struggling with being gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, transgender, queer, or curious, Pride might be the right site for you.
Start the Process, Now!
Teens don’t have to struggle through this challenging time alone. With a qualified, compassionate, and understanding counselor, your teen can begin to feel stronger and more equipped to handle the challenges they are facing.