Would Your Family Benefit From Internet Family Therapy?

Updated February 23, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Note: This article covers information about online family counseling. Please note that at this time, BetterHelp does not offer family therapy

Regardless of your family's concerns, family therapy can be a valuable tool. You and your family can arrange a time to meet with licensed therapists to discuss conflict, communication, mental health challenges, and other concerns. 

One challenge for many families interested in family counseling services is finding a time when everyone is available. In these cases, online family therapy can be beneficial. Multiple family members can meet with a licensed therapist from separate locations through internet-based counseling. You only need an internet connection and a non-public space to chat comfortably. 

With the increase in the popularity of online healthcare, there are many options for finding family therapy counseling online. Online family therapists have been proven more effective than in-person family therapists.

According to the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, 57% of families that used online therapy programs felt the interventions were successful, compared to 42% of those who engaged in traditional face-to-face counseling. 

A family of four are sitting together on a couch and looking at a laptop screen; they are waving and smiling.
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Benefits of online family therapy

If you and your family are experiencing difficulties in your relationships, trying to arrange group therapy sessions might feel like an impossible challenge. Families of different ages and stages in life may feel additional frustration in trying to find a therapy schedule that works for everyone, let alone a physical location. Furthermore, attending in-person therapy sessions may be more challenging and stress-inducing if a family is experiencing mental health conditions like social anxiety, or challenges like eating disorders and substance use. In these cases, online therapy may serve as a valuable supplement to medical care and medication management. 

One of the best online family therapy benefits is that it can make booking appointments more convenient and flexible for everyone. You may not have to rearrange your schedule to make an appointment. In addition, unlike with in person sessions, you won't have to take time out of your schedule to drive to an in-person clinical practice across town. 

Online therapy companies typically offer video chats, phone calls, and live chat sessions, which can allow you and your family to participate equitably in treatment. Virtual family counseling services allow the conversation to expand to include family who are geographically distant. In addition, studies showcase that most individuals feel most comfortable at home, which could make therapy online a more comfortable option for families. 

What can you address in family therapy? 

During family therapy sessions, a mental health care professional, such as a family counselor or a licensed marriage and family therapist, can address any concern in your family. You do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to attend virtual family therapy. Several of the most common reasons for attending therapy may include the following: 

Communication 

For families with adolescents, or broad political differences, generational divides and divergent perspectives can be challenging to talk through constructively. In addition, differences in communication styles or differing values might come up. Family therapy can allow everyone to feel heard with expert mediation to help establish healthy boundaries and guide the conversation, helping family members improve communication. 

Substance use disorders 

Alongside the physical and mental impacts that substance use disorders can have on an individual, their family and other loved ones may also experience distress. Online therapy services can provide the space to unpack substance abuse challenges while offering psychological support for the families struggling with substance dependency. 

If you are struggling with substance use, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 to receive support and resources.

Blended family challenges

Bringing together two families through remarriage has the potential to enrich everyone's lives. It can also stir up feelings of grief, resentment, or jealousy as step-siblings and step-parents learn to combine their lives. This situation may benefit from the support of a licensed marriage and family therapist. Talking through these issues in family therapy sessions can help individuals understand each other's emotions and concerns and develop a plan for healthy integration. Marriage and family therapists can provide blended families with the tools to resolve conflicts and move forward into the next stage of their lives together.

Abuse 

Whether emotional, neglectful, sexual, financial, or physical, discussing abuse with a therapist can be healing. A licensed therapist can direct these conversations compassionately while providing clients a distance from others to maintain safety. During a therapy session, a family therapist can provide individual support to the survivors of abuse within the family and recommend courses of action for future safety and wellness. However, it may not be recommended for survivors to attend therapy with those who have abused them.

If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat

Traumatic or adverse events 

All families can feel the impacts of loss or traumatic events differently. Online or in person family therapy can give each person the space to grieve or discuss their trauma in their own way, helping the family move forward as a caring, compassionate team with closer family relationships.

Behavioral concerns 

Some children and adolescents may require additional support to overcome behavioral issues at home, school, or other environments. For example, those who experience eating disorders or other challenges may benefit from online family therapy. The adults in the family might also benefit from family therapy as they navigate their emotions about their children. In family therapy, the family can devise a treatment plan together, involving everyone in supporting the child's needs. This is just one of the many benefits of family counseling.

Infidelity 

In a family, infidelity may cause distress for everyone involved. Online couples therapy can support each party through necessary discussions, even if one or both partners are no longer comfortable in the same location. Children or other families might be included in this discussion. 

What 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 caring online family therapy providers without traveling to the therapist's office. In addition, online therapists through various platforms are often available through text messaging, online chats, phone and video calls, and interactive content. Due to this connectivity, online professional counselors can provide mental healthcare solutions for acute and continuing family issues that are effective and safe.

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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 services 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 family or parent counseling can help, especially if it is a sensitive issue that could be too intense to discuss if everyone is in the same space.

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 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, families 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, it does other counseling services that can help individuals seeking to work through family-related issues. Also, couples therapy is available at Regain, which is BetterHelp’s partner platform for couples who want to work on their relationship. At Regain, couples therapy can be provided completely online via videoconferencing.

You can obtain family therapy from a number of other online providers; the best online family counseling services are 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 your insurance company. 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

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Counseling options 

Like conventional counseling, an online therapy service can work for any subject. However, using an online therapy company can also provide additional benefits, such as its remote location, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. When you are not in a physical room with others in your family, you might find it easier to discuss your emotions. 

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 child and family counseling 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 solid potential to bring your family closer together.

Though not currently able to offer family therapy services, the flexibility of online therapy with a platform like BetterHelp allows individuals to find support and guidance with family-related concerns. Individual therapy and mental health services are available through various formats, such as live video, phone, and chat sessions. In addition, individual online therapists are trained in addressing various concerns, including family challenges and conflict. 

Conclusion: How online family therapy helps

Online family therapy is a proven way for people to get their needed help. Therapists can provide families with some of the best online family therapy techniques that can help address different problems. 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. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp therapists.

"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 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 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!"

Takeaway

Online family therapy is a proven way for individuals and families to receive the support they seek. It can be scheduled and may help everyone feel more comfortable discussing challenges. With the right tools, you can understand and potentially overcome family conflict. If you don’t have time for traditional in-person therapy at this time, you may benefit from online therapy as a family. With BetterHelp, your whole family can participate in therapy services from home or anywhere you have an internet connection. You can also find an online therapist who has experience in your specific areas of concern. Take the first step toward better mental health as a family and reach out to BetterHelp today.

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