Would Your Family Benefit From Family Therapy Counseling Online?
By: William Drake
Updated December 24, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Avia James
Whether your family members are fighting every day, or nobody is speaking to each other, family therapy can help. The primary challenge of family therapy is arranging for everyone to be together at the same time. However, with family therapy counseling online, you can all be in different places and still communicate with each other and with a therapist at the same time. In fact, online family therapy has been shown to be more effective than in-person family therapy. According to the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, 57 percent of families that used online therapy were successful, compared to 42 percent of those who engaged in traditional face-to-face counseling. Read on to learn why this kind of therapy might work you and your family.
Benefits Of Family Therapy Counseling Online
If you and your family are already experiencing difficulties in your relationships, even trying to arrange therapy sessions might feel like an insurmountable challenge. Family members of different ages and different stages in life may feel additional frustration with each other in trying to find a therapy schedule that works for everyone, let alone a physical location. Furthermore, if a member of a family is dealing with a mental health issue like social anxiety or borderline personality disorder, the act of getting to in-person therapy may be even more challenging and could cause additional distress.
Online therapy makes booking appointments easier and more flexible for everyone. There's no need for you to rearrange your schedule to make an appointment at a time that probably won't work for most of your family. You can also forget about driving to an office across town. Video chats and conferencing allow you and your family members to participate more easily and equitably, and the conversation can expand to include even family members who are geographically distant. Plus, you'll be speaking from a place where you likely feel comfortable, especially if you're calling in from home.
What Kinds Of Issues Does Family Therapy Treat?
Online family therapy can address any type of problem or concern in your family. Some of the most common include:
- Communication: Especially for families that have adolescent members or broad political differences, generational divides and divergent perspectives can be difficult to talk through constructively. Online therapy can give everyone an opportunity to feel heard, with an expert to moderate and direct the conversation.
- Substance use: Alongside the physical and mental impacts that substance use can have on an individual, their family members and other loved ones can experience distress as a result of alcohol or substance use disorder. Online therapy can provide the space to unpack these issues, as well as offer opportunities for caring intervention.
- Blended family issues: Bringing together two families through remarriage has the potential to enrich everyone’s lives, but it also can stir up feelings of grief, resentment, or jealousy as stepsiblings and stepparents learn to combine their lives. Talking through these issues, either proactively or responsively, can help.
- Abuse of any kind: Whether emotional, neglectful, financial, or physical, abuse must be brought into the light and fully addressed before any parties can begin to move on. A licensed mental health professional can make all the difference in directing these conversations within a safe space, and online therapy provides distance that might be necessary. A therapist can also provide individual support to the recipient/s of abuse and recommend courses of action for future safety and wellness.
- Traumatic events like death or divorce: Any kind of loss to a family can be felt by all of its members in different ways. Online therapy can give each person the space to grieve in their own way, while also helping the family to move forward as a caring, compassionate team.
- Behavioral issues: Some children and adolescents need additional support to move through behavioral issues—at home, at school, and/or in other environments—and the adults in the family might also benefit from professional support in navigating those difficulties.
- Infidelity: If one partner is unfaithful to the other in any sense (sexual or emotional affairs, financial dishonesty, etc.), then trust needs to be repaired before the relationship can either move forward or come to an end. An online therapist can support each party through the necessary discussions, even if one or both partners are no longer comfortable being in the same location.
What Kinds Of Counseling Techniques Can Be Done Online?
Techniques that work for traditional, in-person counseling can also be used online with equal success. In addition, online counselors are usually available through text messaging, online chats, phone and video calls, and interactive content. Thanks to this connectivity, online counselors are able to provide help for both acute and continuing family issues.
How Can It Benefit My Family?
Online counseling can work for any subject, just like conventional counseling, but there's usually less confrontation when you meet online. When you're not actually in the room with other people, it can be easier to open up and speak your mind.
No matter what issues your family may be experiencing (and every family has some), online family therapy can help you sort them out. Maybe you feel like your family has grown apart, or you've lost a loved one. Regardless of the situation, online counseling can help, especially if it's a sensitive issue that could be too intense to discuss if everyone is in the same space.
Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy is becoming more and more popular in the United States. If members of your family are struggling to communicate or get along, or if you feel like no one in your family understands you, online counseling may be a great fit for your family. Getting professional help does not have to be difficult or inconvenient. You can turn to the online therapists at BetterHelp for assistance right away.
Case studies have shown that an “effective therapeutic alliance” can be developed through online parent-child therapy sessions; pursuing professional support may bring your family closer together. The accessibility and flexibility of online therapy with BetterHelp make it a great fit for family members in all stages of life. Help is available through a variety of formats, such as video chat conferencing and texting, and you don't even have to leave your home. BetterHelp counselors have helped many people in similar situations, as these user reviews demonstrate. Below you'll find reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing a range of family-related challenges.
"Tammi has made such a difference in my life. Had I not had her help I'm pretty sure I would've lost all contact with my 19 year old daughter who chose to live with her father. She understands teenagers and moms of teenagers! So kind, wise, experienced, compassionate, and level headed, I can't say enough good about her!!"
"I have been working with Carolyn for 6 months now, and have tremendously benefited from her counseling as I support my daughter for Anorexia. Anorexia is a very complex mind-body illness and the family members can play a very important role in the recovery by educating ourselves and understanding her behavior. This allows me to use correct words with her, and watch by own behavior with her so I am supporting her in a healthy manner, and not enabling her illness further. Additionally, my own stress has been very difficult as I watch my sweet daughter suffer, so I had been in need of finding coping skills for myself. Carolyn's expertise, her very compassionate but clear guidelines and feedback to me have made be more confident and capable in dealing with this difficult illness. I am finding a lot of strength from her therapy, and most importantly I am handling my daughter better and can see the difference in my interactions with her. I am thankful to Carolyn for coming into my life when I needed someone to guide me through this. In addition to our weekly video chats, I am able to send her quick texts on the BetterHelp app if an issue arises and I need her thoughts, and Carolyn replies back very quickly with more tips to help me. I have recommended BetterHelp to friends as access to a great therapist like Carolyn would not have been possible for me without this platform... while I also do this from the convenience of my time and home. Thank you Carolyn, and thank you BetterHelp for being here for me!"
Online therapy is a proven way for families to get the help they need. It's easy to schedules and can be a great way to help everyone feel more comfortable while discussing difficult issues. Every single family faces challenges. With the right tools, you can overcome them. Take the first step today.
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