During the lockdown periods in the last two years, many of Young Minds’ child and adolescent clients tried online therapy for the first time. Communicating through video and phone platforms is second nature to young people and there are a number of reasons that this therapy option is a useful alternative to traditional in-person therapy.
SOME YOUNG PEOPLE MAY FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE USING ONLINE THERAPY
Young people spend large amounts of time using technology for school, social and entertainment purposes. During the height of the pandemic many young people became accustomed to interacting via technology for more than social reasons, with online therapy and education online increasing. Our online services are flexible with phone, video, and messaging options available to best suit your young person.
A STRONG THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP CAN BE BUILT VIA ONLINE THERAPY
Some young people, especially teenagers, feel stigma around accessing mental health services. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to present to therapy appearing sullen and disinterested, only to engage quite well once they feel comfortable and are one-on-one with the therapist. Online therapy may accelerate this process by feeling more private and being in the comfort of the young person’s home. The home environment is familiar and feels safe meaning young people may be more at ease and able to open up.
Online therapy also gives clinicians the chance to see young people in their natural environment. This can help with building rapport (for example the young person might show the clinician their room and favourite toys). Our team are trained at building rapport and have found creative ways to engage in games and activities through online therapy. With our online platform we have a shared whiteboard function, enabling drawing games. We can also share worksheets and watch YouTube videos in session to engage young clients. Our online platform enables online administration and scoring of questionnaires to gather information and track progress, helping us understand our clients and tailor therapy to their needs.
ONLINE THERAPY LENDS ITSELF WELL TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPY
Unlike some health services which require a client to be physically present, psychological therapy is ‘talk therapy’ and can be easily delivered online. Psychologists are highly trained in interviewing skills and can adapt with increased verbal communication for any non-verbal cues that are missed online.
Our online platform enables group calls, making it easier for us to communicate with other health or educational professionals if needed. Group calls also enable parents to join in for part of the session if they are in a separate location.
ONLINE THERAPY WORKS WELL WITH FAMILY LIFE
Online therapy may fit in well with your schedule by being convenient and limiting time missed from school for appointments. Children’s energy levels can be variable, and with online therapy you can pick a time of day where your child will be most alert without factoring in extra time demands such as travel time.
Online therapy for children and adolescents is a viable alternative to in-person therapy. Working via online therapy may even be more comfortable and convenient for some clients. If this is an option you would like to explore for your child, please contact us on (07) 3857 0074.