About online counseling for teens

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Teen Counseling is a talk therapy service for people ages 13–19. The parent company is BetterHelp, and such online counseling services can help teens and their caregivers by providing affordable remote counseling.

According to the most recent data from Mental Health America, more than 15% of American youth had a major depressive episode in the past year, and that percentage is growing. More than 60% of young people with major depression receive no mental health treatment at all.

Depression is just one of the mental health issues teens can face, but counseling services, such as Teen Counseling, can be helpful.

Teen Counseling is a platform that offers affordable counseling with certified therapists to people aged 13-19 in a private, online environment. A person needs an internet connection to use this service.

However, teen counseling is not appropriate for someone who is in crisis or who needs immediate treatment.

The Teen Counseling website describes the company’s mission as building, maintaining and supporting a platform that allows individuals and therapists to communicate effectively.

A person connects with an assigned therapist when they sign up for the platform, but they can switch therapists if they wish.

The individual and their therapist are responsible for scheduling sessions, and methods of interaction may include:

  • Texting: Teens and parents or guardians each have their own secure and private chat rooms, available 24/7, for sending and receiving messages with their therapist.
  • live chat: Providing the immediacy of real-time communication in a texting environment, people and therapists schedule live chats in advance.
  • Live Phone Calls: A person should also schedule live phone calls in advance and start in a person’s private therapy chat room.
  • Video Conferencing: Similar to live phone calls, these sessions are similar to using Zoom or Skype. A person arranges these sessions in advance and initiates them through their private therapy room.

The therapists work as independent contractors, so Teen Counseling is not their employer and does not supervise their work.

However, Teen Counseling is not always an appropriate substitute for face-to-face mental health care because the licensed therapists cannot prescribe medication, make an official diagnosis, or meet the responsibilities of judicial treatment.

Teen Counseling is committed to keeping user data and what they say during sessions private. And even if a person uses their private phone for a session, their therapist won’t get their personal phone number. The Teen Counseling System provides the connection through a person’s secure online link.

However, under the following circumstances, a therapist must legally violate a person’s confidentiality and inform the authorities if:

  • a person is seriously thinking about harming himself or others
  • a person under the age of 18 discloses that they are experiencing abuse or neglect
  • a person knows that a minor is being abused or neglected
  • a person discloses that an older adult person is being abused or neglected

Teen Counseling costs $60-90 per week, depending on where a person lives, their preferences, and the availability of their therapist.

Neither the Teen Counseling company nor its therapists submit bills to Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurers. This means that it is up to the parents or guardians of the person using Teen Counseling to claim reimbursement from their insurance.

The company’s website states that many insurance plans do not fully cover mental health. However, a person should check with their insurer to confirm benefits.

Below we discuss the pros and cons of Teen Counseling.

After a parent or guardian signs up for Teen Counseling, they complete a questionnaire about the teen’s behavior and areas in which they may need support. The company will then assign a therapist based on this information. A person can also change therapists whenever they want.

The service’s therapists can be psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, or professional therapists, and all are fully accredited and licensed in the states where they provide services.

The Better Business Bureau gives Teen Counseling’s parent company, BetterHelp, a rating of 4.07 stars out of 5 based on more than 400 reviews. The service also has accreditation and an A rating on this review platform.

Positive comments mention that Teen Counseling is easy to use, has good complaint resolution and is cost effective. Specific supervisors also have many compliments.

Negative comments, however, related to a lack of response and availability from the therapist, overcharges, and customer service issues.

Trustpilot gives the company a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from more than 4,100 reviews.

Favorable comments include ease of use, flexibility, and excellent choice of therapists. However, negative reviews pointed to a lack of pricing transparency, customer service issues, and unprofessional therapists who lack empathy.

Online alternatives to Teen Counseling include:

  • Talking space: This online service provides online counseling for individuals, couples, and teens via video, messages, and phone. It accepts many forms of insurance. It also has an online psychiatric counseling option, which could make it possible for a person to prescribe medications, such as antidepressants.
  • MD Live: In addition to emergency care, primary care, and dermatology, MDLive offers online talk therapy and psychiatric care from licensed therapists and psychiatrists, addressing issues such as addiction, anxiety, stress, and trauma. A person can get prescription drugs if needed while the registration is free.
  • Synergy e-therapy: One of the specialties of this online company is counseling support for teens and adolescents. Sessions take place via video chat and telephone. The company emphasizes that many teens prefer using digital devices to communicate, so the methods reportedly help younger clients feel more comfortable with therapy. However, it doesn’t work in all 50 states. Some of his therapists may be in-network for some clients with insurance.

If a person’s mental health problems, whether related to anxiety, depression, or stress, often cause distress or interfere with their ability to live their lives, they should see a doctor for evaluation and treatment options.

Online counseling can provide significant help, but it is not suitable for someone who is in a crisis situation or who is at risk of hurting themselves or others. Instead, individuals should speak with a qualified professional.

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about Teen Counseling.

Does teen therapy accept insurance?

Neither the Teen Counseling company nor the therapists who work with it submit bills to Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurers. This means that it is up to the parents and guardians of the person using Teen Counseling to claim reimbursement from their insurance.

Does teen therapy have a free trial?

Teen Counseling does not currently offer free trials.

Can I register my child for Teen Counseling?

A parent or caregiver can sign up for Teen Counseling without their child present. After registration, the company matches someone’s child with a certified therapist, with whom they can schedule an appointment. They can then invite their child, who will receive an email and text inviting them to the session.

Which is Better, BetterHelp or Teen Counseling?

BetterHelp is Teen Counseling’s parent company and therefore operates the service.

Online counseling offers people of all ages a more convenient, personalized, and potentially less expensive way to access mental health services.

Teen Counseling focuses on providing access to mental health care for adolescents using their preferred method of communication. It can serve as a helpful tool to help them cope with what can be a challenging time of life.

About online counseling for teens

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