Have you ever wondered how virtual therapy could play a role in your child’s mental health? Many have told me children do not have the patience to sit through a whole session. Others have shared they feel it is harder to build a client-counselor relationship through a screen. These thoughts may be true to some degree but I am here to share some positive light on virtual counseling and help ease your mind if you are considering this option for you or your loved one.
With the growing amount of therapy waitlists in the St. Louis area, virtual therapy may be your next choice. Yes, you or your young one may hesitate to start this alternative, and that is completely normal. In online therapy, the therapeutic relationship is just as meaningful as it is in the in-person session. As a child-based counselor, I want to make sure your child feels emotionally safe and validated throughout the session. I use the same techniques and approaches as I would in a regular session, and I encourage your child to use some of their favorite games and activities to make them feel assured throughout the process. Redirection is expected with any young one in a session or even at home, and I am more than happy to utilize strategies and movement to help them stay focused on their goals. The communication approach is just as functional as well. Therapy can be available via laptop, tablet, and smartphone. With technology advancements, your child may have more confidence with their communication via their electronic devices.
Here is some helpful information regarding the benefits of virtual therapy for kids from a Missouri Child Therapist:
There are fewer feelings of being “under a microscope
Have you ever started the therapy process, and almost instantly found yourself worried the counselor may overanalyze you during the initial session? This is absolutely not our objective. We want you or your child to be in a relaxed headspace, free of any judgments. In virtual therapy, being outside of the counselor’s office can alleviate some of these daunting thoughts, and provide a sense of freedom to speak your truth. For those that have dealt with grief or trauma, processing events virtually may provide a lightness and less pressure when it is just yourself in the physical room.
They create the environment
If going the virtual route, this is great for children because they create their own safe space, and they have choices in what they include in the counseling environment. I enjoy when children share their favorite activities, interests, and toys during sessions and feel this is more comforting for them. In virtual sessions, they can be surrounded by their desired items that help them establish familiarity. Additionally, confidentiality can feel more significant in this setting because they feel more empowered when they are in their personal space.
It is a similar form of communication to that of their peers
Nowadays, children are so well equipped with multiple modes of communication via electronic devices. Texting and video chatting is becoming more preferred amongst children. Technology provides individuals with an informal approach to talking. When talking about past trauma or big emotions, sometimes sharing through a screen is what feels most natural. However, this is not always favored in today’s society, it does let them express themselves with a little less anxiousness. Throughout our online sessions, I do like to address face-to-face socializing skills so they continue building on their interpersonal connectedness.
It can help them work through behaviors in the home setting
Have you noticed that most of your child’s behaviors are occurring at home? It could be because this is where they can truly be themselves without judgement, and they might not feel they have to put on a facade. This scenario happens quite often and it can be a challenge when playing it out in person when the behaviors are not currently taking place. Clients my have forgotten what took place or prefer not talk about past situations. Online therapy offers assistance with this because while observing the activity, the counselor can help your child label the emotions and triggers, brainstorm conflict resolution approaches, and help them develop coping skills. If behaviors are not occurring at the time of the session, your child can use some of their own toys or objects to roleplay difficulties that may come up.
If you have a busy schedule or your child is feeling a little timid walking into an unfamiliar place, video sessions can help minimize these stressors. If you are located in a rural area, the commute might be a challenge. We want to make the process as accessible and manageable as we can.
Online therapy might not work for every child, but it may just be the silver lining they are needing. We are currently providing virtual therapy for both Missouri and Illinois residents! Call to schedule you or your child’s first session today.
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Additional Counseling Services at Marble Wellness
Counseling services designed to help set you on a path of living a more fulfilled, calm, and happy life. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.