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4 tips to improve child's experience with online therapy

In our, hopefully, post-pandemic world, online therapy is more popular than ever. It offers the benefits of mental health support from the comfort of your home. In my own practice as a mental health therapist, I find myself working with more children online than ever before. Online therapy is becoming more tailored to children and teens as we look towards the future. So, how can caregivers support their child’s mental health needs in this modern era?

 Here are four tips to improve your child’s experience with online therapy:


1)    Creating a Space

  • When helping your child create their therapy space, just remember the three C’s – comfortable, comforting, and confidential.

    • For example, park your child on their favorite chair, help them find a stuffed animal or fidget toy, and ensure no one will overhear their therapy session.


2)    Addressing the Unknown

  • Therapy can be a scary experience for folks of all ages – help calm any nerves your child might be experiencing by laying out what to expect during online therapy.

    • Your child will spend 40-50 minutes one-on-one with the therapist to talk, play games, or create art.

    • The therapist’s number one priority is to keep your child safe. This means that the therapist will maintain your child’s privacy unless the therapist notes a safety issue that needs to be shared with you.

    • At the end of the session, you will spend 10-15 minutes speaking with the therapist to support you in supporting your child.


3)    Tech Support – the IT guy’s name is Kevin.

  • We don’t actually have an IT guy, but don’t fret, your child or teenager likely knows their way around a computer. It’s important for you to be available during the session just in case your needed for tech troubleshooting.


4)    Communication Before and After Session

  • Have a conversation with your child about how you can support them both before and after their session. Options may include a specified amount of alone time (10-15 minutes) before a check-in, hugs and/or snuggles, movement, or time outside. These are all activities to help your child regulate after an emotional session.

Grace Skattebo, MA, LPC, works with individuals of all ages. She is currently accepting new clients. ttebo MA, LSkatteboPCC

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