There are advantages to treating mental health over long distances. Face-to-face treatment, especially through inpatient programs, is not always an option for teens in need of professional help. Different circumstances can discourage a teen from entering a long-term residential program, or even make the trip for outpatient care. Teletherapy counseling for teens allows us to offer treatment alternatives at home, and greatly boosts access to mental healthcare for adolescents who need it.

While research on the subject shows teletherapy can be effective in combating symptoms of depression, anxiety, compulsion, and more, it also shows it is primarily a secondary or auxiliary modality. At Visions, we value the use of uniquely catered in-person treatment. Teletherapy should ideally be used in conjunction with other treatments.

We also value how common it can be for teens to struggle with access to mental healthcare. Our approach to teletherapy is molded after the needs of each patient, allowing it to be an effective treatment tool for those who cannot access other treatments and a helpful auxiliary tool for teens with access to a variety of treatments.

Objectives and Goals of Teletherapy Counseling for Teens

At Visions, our goal with each of our programs is to help provide an effective and long-term treatment plan for teens with mental health and co-occurring disorders. Our programs range from assessment to continuing care, and we treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and more.

Our approach to teletherapy counseling for teens is a program that primarily focuses on providing long-term therapeutic care to teens outside of our primary residential program, and as a continuing treatment option for alumni. Teletherapy is also an option when special circumstances make in-person outpatient visits or residential care difficult. Via teletherapy counseling for teens, we aim to:

  • Address a teen’s symptoms and concerns.
  • Work remotely with teens to identify peer groups and support options in the area.
  • Communicate with the teen and their loved ones to help identify effective ways to combat their disorder at home.
  • Provide emergency therapeutic support.
  • Adapt DBT and CBT techniques via phone or Internet.
  • Help guide effective coping mechanisms.
  • Direct teens to online resources and apps to help them manage their thoughts and symptoms.
  • Achieve a long-term reduction in disorder symptoms via teletherapy.

Teletherapy is easier to access and offers greater flexibility to teens unable to access in-person therapy and treatment. Teletherapy is sometimes linked to greater adherence and completion rates than outpatient programs, due to the lower costs and improved convenience.

Even at a reduced efficacy, teletherapy is also consistently linked to a long-term reduction in symptoms for common mental health issues, including depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders like OCD, PTSD, and more. We recommend teens seek pharmacological support in addition to teletherapy if possible, through e-prescription and medication delivery services.

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Traditional Therapy vs. Teletherapy Counseling for Teens

Treatment efficacy for teletherapy varies from person to person, from disorder to disorder. Most studies suggest teletherapy is often comparable, albeit not as effective as in-person treatment, making it a valuable treatment option especially for individuals suffering from:

  • Lack of access.
  • Travel/waiting time.
  • Socioeconomic problems.
  • Distance-related limitations (cost of transport, lack of movement freedom, special circumstances, etc.)

The number of teens and adolescents struggling with mental health disorders far outnumbers the capacity of our current mental healthcare system. Telehealth will play an important role now as in the years to come, in all aspects of healthcare, mental health included. For teens seeking therapy, teletherapy will often be their best bet.

At Visions, we try to cater each of our programs to the teens we treat and not the other way around. Mental health disorders are often chronic and are affected by dozens of factors, necessitating a holistic and multimodal approach in many cases. To be thorough, we leverage the expertise of several different specialists to assess and develop an appropriate treatment plan for each teen.

Teletherapy is a limited approach, given it is only a single intervention. However, it is often associated with improved outcomes, even when used on its own. At Visions, we try to help teens find other ways to access care via teletherapy, to ensure they have the best chances at a long-term reduction in symptoms, and improved quality of life.