Benefits Of Family Therapy Online

Updated October 4, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, that the below article might mention trauma-related topics which could potentially be triggering.

This article will cover useful information about online family counseling. Please note that at this time, BetterHelp does not offer family therapy.

Find Out More About Online Therapy

Whether your family experiences constant bickering or just the occasional disagreement, family therapy is an incredible tool for improving your family dynamic. The primary challenge of family therapy is arranging for everyone to be together at the same time for counseling services. However, with online family therapy, you can all be in different places and still communicate with each other and with an online therapist at the same time. All you need is an internet connection and a private space where you feel comfortable chatting. With an online platform, there’s no need to worry about traffic or bad weather since your therapy session can take place from the comfort of your home. Plus, with the rising increase in online therapy, it is more likely your health insurance covers it nowadays. In fact, online family therapists have been shown to be more effective than in-person family therapists. According to the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, 57 percent of families that used online therapy programs were successful, compared to 42 percent of those who engaged in traditional face-to-face counseling. Read on to learn why family therapy sessions might work for you and your family.

Benefits Of Online Family Therapy

If you and your family are already experiencing difficulties in your relationships, even trying to arrange group 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 mental health conditions like social anxiety or borderline personality disorder, the act of getting to in-person counseling sessions may be even more challenging and stress-inducing.

Online therapy and teletherapy make booking appointments easier and more flexible for everyone. There is 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 in-person clinical practice 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 will be speaking from a place where you likely feel comfortable, especially if you're calling in from home.

What Kinds Of Issues Does Online Family Therapy Treat?

During family therapy sessions, a mental health care professional can address any type of problem or concern in your family and offer family support in a number of ways. 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. Family therapy can give everyone an opportunity to feel heard, with an expert to help establish healthy boundaries and guide the conversation.
  • Substance use disorder (previously known as substance abuse): Alongside the physical and mental impacts that substance use disorder (previously referred to as substance abuse) 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 services can provide the space to unpack these issues, while offering psychiatric services for the family member struggling with addiction.
  • 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 step siblings and stepparents learn to combine their lives which may benefit from the support of a licensed marriage and family therapist. Talking through these issues at family therapy sessions can help. Marriage and family therapy can bridge the divide as family members seek to come together.
  • 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. Licensed professional counselors can make all the difference in directing these conversations within a safe space, and online therapy provides a distance that might be necessary. A therapist can provide individual support to the recipient/s of abuse and recommend courses of action for future safety and wellness. In addition, these virtual therapy sessions make it easy for other professionals– such as licensed clinical social workers– to be involved as necessary.
  • 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 with deep family relationships.
  • 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 the support of mental health professionals in navigating those difficulties with mental health issues. Some behavioral health issues may require medication management services, and a therapist can refer families to the right healthcare professionals for professional medical advice.
  • 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 partners can make a mutual decision about what’s best. Online couples therapy can support each party through the necessary discussions, even if one or both partners are no longer comfortable being in the same location.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, the Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233. If you or someone you know is experiencing substance use, the SAMHSA National Helpline for substance use can be reached at 1-800-662-4357. Both hotlines can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What Kinds Of Counseling Techniques Can Be Done Online?

Techniques that work for traditional, in-person counseling can also be used with equal success through online therapy services. You can connect to a caring provider without having to travel to the therapist’s office. In addition, online counselors through various platforms are usually available through text messaging, online chats, phone and video calls, and interactive content. Thanks to this connectivity, online professional counselors are able to provide mental health care for both acute and continuing family issues in a virtual group therapy setting.

How Can It Benefit My Family?

An online therapy service can work for any subject, just like conventional counseling, but there is usually less confrontation when you meet online. When you are 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), the best online family counseling can help you sort them out. Maybe you feel like your family has grown apart, or you have lost a loved one. Regardless of the situation, online counseling can help, especially if it is a sensitive issue that could be too intense to discuss if everyone is in the same space.

These are some of the commonly asked questions about the topic:

Is Online family therapy Effective?
Can you talk to therapists online for free?
Can you do therapy virtually?
Is BetterHelp online therapy free?
What are the disadvantages of online counselling?
Is 7 Cups therapy free?
Is Talkspace real therapy?
Who can I talk to right now for free?
Does therapy work over zoom?
Is Zoom therapy as effective as in person?

Online Family Therapy Since COVID-19

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy has become more and more popular in the United States. With an impact just as strong as in person therapy and the advantage of far greater convenience, people are turning to online therapy. 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. Plus, without the added effort of leaving your home, family members are more inclined to turn up to that first session—and hopefully continue if your family wants to. While BetterHelp does not currently offer family therapy, we offer other counseling services that can help individuals seeking to work through family-related issues, including individual and couples therapy. You can obtain family therapy from a number of other online providers; the best online family counseling is provided by someone the entire family is comfortable with. No matter who you choose to work with, it’s wise to research their educational background, reviewing their credentials before you begin regular sessions together. It’s also a good idea to check what is covered by insurance. Your health insurance provider may cover certain types of online therapy and not others so it’s worth looking into ahead of time.

Family Therapy Online Case Studies

Find Out More About Online Therapy

Scientists have conducted comprehensive research regarding the impact of online therapy, and case studies have shown that an “effective therapeutic alliance” can be developed through online parent-child therapy sessions. In addition, you’ll find a consensus about the efficacy of online therapy across the board, whether you talk to healthcare professionals, review articles about the subject, or speak to people who have experienced it firsthand. Pursuing professional support has a strong potential to bring your family closer together.

Though not currently able to offer family therapy services, the flexibility of online therapy with BetterHelp make it a great fit for individual therapy for people of all ages seeking help and guidance with family issues that they are experiencing. BetterHelp can offer an individualistic approach to family therapy techniques. Mental health services are available through a variety of formats, such as video chat conferencing and texting, and you do not even have to leave your home. BetterHelp counselors have used individual talk therapy to help many people in similar situations. Below you will find reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing a range of family-related challenges.

Conclusion- How Online Family Therapy Helps

Online family therapy is a proven way for people to get the help they need. It is easy to schedule and can be a great way to help everyone feel more comfortable while discussing difficult issues. Every family faces challenges. With the right tools, you can overcome a great deal of family conflict. Take the first step today.

"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!"

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