Many families find online therapy for kids to be an invaluable, convenient, and cost-effective treatment for mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. While most youngsters are more receptive to engaging with therapists via internet-based applications, it is essential to assess the pros and cons to ensure it is suitable for your child.

What is online therapy for kids?

Online child therapy is where a young patient receives medical care over the phone, video chat, email, or app-based tools. A consultation with a healthcare professional takes place virtually rather than in person for a diagnostic examination, medication management, or counseling sessions for a range of mental health issues.

Parents and siblings can also participate in online family therapy sessions from home. Online therapy provides helpful options and scheduling flexibility as an alternative to in-person sessions with a clinician. Online counseling processes will differ as it depends on the needs of your child, the platform being used, and the therapist’s approach to treatment.

Why consider online child therapy?

Throughout childhood, young people struggle with a variety of problems, such as depression, trauma, bullying, grief, and stress at school or in social groups. The following reasons are why many parents choose online therapy to help their children deal with these issues while getting support for the family.

  • Children are comfortable with technology: Today, kids use technology more than ever and they feel more familiar with communicating openly using technology than they are when they feel intimidated in a therapist’s office.
  • Encourages confidence and control: Online counseling can strengthen a teenager’s sense of ownership and control over sessions, which can also increase involvement.
  • Interactive and effective: Online therapy is engaging, making use of visual tools like videos, drawings, conversation, games, and the exchange of helpful resources.
  • Increased parent involvement: Parents who actively participate in sessions, prepare any materials the therapist requests in advance, and act as their kid’s co-therapist can help their child engage in online communication effectively.

What are the benefits of telehealth child psychiatry?

Telehealth offers a number of benefits for patients through enhanced service quality and capacity. The top benefits include:

More comfortable environment

Using an online platform is more comfortable for some children than having to go sit in a therapist’s office. When children are relaxed, it is easier for them to open up and express themselves, making sessions very effective.

Flexibility with scheduling

For parents with demanding work schedules or non-traditional hours, online sessions can be easier to manage than in-person therapy, because there is no commute required.

Limits barriers with increased accessibility

Online therapy improves patient accessibility for people who live in remote and rural areas, those with mobility issues, and for people who are not well enough to leave home. It also offers wider access to therapists across the country and internationally.


Receiving treatment online lessens the financial burden by not having to travel to appointments. Additionally, online sessions are typically less expensive than in-person visits.

Deeper patient insight

With online therapy for kids, therapists can observe patients’ interactions in the home environment. It gives the mental health professional a bird’s eye view into the child’s space, and it is easier to observe social determinants at home.

What are the cons of online child therapy?

For some children and parents, individual virtual counseling may not be the best option due to several factors.

Technology problems

Technological problems can negate the efficacy of therapy for families who are not familiar with or comfortable dealing with technical glitches or software issues. Having a slow internet connection can also be problematic.

Absence of nonverbal communication

Online counseling makes it a little more difficult to notice nonverbal cues and body language in both the therapist and the patient. It could make it more difficult for a youngster who already struggles with communication. Online therapy in this case can be a combined approach with in-person consultations.

Not suitable for some conditions

Online therapy may not be appropriate for every condition. This would include treating a child with severe problems, who is suicidal or has psychotic episodes. Online therapy may be included at a later stage of recovery as a preventative and maintenance measure.

How can parents prepare a child for online therapy?

The first-time appointment with a therapist can cause a little nervousness for both parent and child. To minimize feelings of anxiousness, you can help your child and family prepare.

  • Ensure that your child or adolescent understands the purpose of their therapy sessions and be open about the issues that will be addressed.
  • Explain the therapist is going to support them, the siblings, as well as the parents. It is a collective effort to help the child overcome their issues.
  • Get the details from the therapist and describe what happens during a session. It may include talking, doing activities with the therapist, learning new techniques to manage their emotions, and controlling behaviors.
  • Make sure the home offers a peaceful area where your child can converse freely and test that the internet and devices are working prior to the appointment.

Does online child therapy really work?

By using a secure video conferencing platform, your child can conduct the same kind of therapy session that they would in a therapist’s office. With all the benefits of convenience and saving time and money, the young patient also feels more relaxed to start their therapy sessions without having to endure a stressful or tiring commute.

Research into the adoption of online screening and treatment in mental health shows that it is a practice being increasingly used across different medical sectors. Its value is realized by those where ease, privacy, and cost are driving factors. Treatment duration is the same as in-person visits with successful recovery results.

Getting the best online therapy for kids depends a lot on developing a positive and trusting therapeutic relationship between the doctor and the patient. It is at the heart of therapy and a key contributor to positive treatment outcomes. Online therapy is an effective channel through which the therapist provides treatment, and it is as effective as in-person consultations.