Teenagers exhibit more volatile behavior and random mood swings than adults. If you are a parent to teenage children, here are some critical mental health stats you should know.
According to the Youth Risk Behavior’s Surveillance Data Summary and Trends Report from 2011 to 2021, the mental health trends in most high schools in the US are incredibly concerning.
In 2021, 22% of students, 1 out of 5 high schoolers, showed severe depressive and suicidal tendencies.
Also, 42% of high school students constantly experienced deep sadness, emotions of hopelessness, and severe depression. These alarming statistics consistently point to poor mental health patterns in American teenagers.
Even more disturbing is that the symptoms of extreme anxiety, depression & suicide were more pronounced in teenagers belonging to specific ethnic groups, races, homosexuals, and children from the LGBTQ category.
Importance of Checking in on Your Child’s Mental Health
In most cases, mental issues/long-term experienced by teens are a direct result of violent bullying incidents in high schools based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
So, spotting red flags early on and addressing mental health problems in teenagers is crucial for their psychological and physical well-being. It will also help prevent the development of risky behavioral patterns in teenagers.
Sadly, once teens have progressed to an advanced stage, toxic behavior patterns are almost irreversible. If left unchecked or untreated, affected teenagers can resort to violent activities such as substance abuse, sexual abuse, engaging in prostitution to earn money, gun violence, and more.
Who Should Teenagers Approach for Help?
The most effective support system to help teenagers at risk is their immediate family and the school community. However, it’s hard for many teens to open up to them.
Most teenagers do not willingly involve or confide in their parents or teachers, thinking it would be shameful and embarrassing. They might be concerned about how their parents would react – will they respond positively, empathize with them, or turn a blind eye to their problems?
There have been instances of parents unknowingly dismissing the mental health problems of their children. They might pass them off as common life challenges most teens to face while growing up or transitioning to adulthood. Here are a few reasons why teenagers should approach for help.
1. Approach for Moral Support
Case in point– Let’s talk about the character of high school student Justin Foley from the popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”.
He was portrayed as a heroin addict from a broken lower middle-class family who had to engage in heavy substance abuse and male prostitution to sustain himself. Justin eventually dies after advancing to the last stage of HIV – AIDS.
But how did he end up in such a hellhole?
As a kid with divorced parents and a single mom who was also a drug addict, Justin didn’t have much support, a father figure, or anyone to look up to growing up. Thanks to bad company, his life spiraled further into the murky world of drugs, unsterilized syringes, and sexual abuse by multiple men.
Therefore, parents play a crucial role in alleviating the mental health troubles of their teenage children. However, since frequent divorces are common in modern western societies, getting emotional support from parents is another major challenge.
2. Approach for Career Counseling
Teens exposed to strained relationships between their parents or those affected by their parent’s separation since childhood are most likely to develop long-term mental health issues due to damaged coping mechanisms. It eventually affects their academic and personal lives in the long run.
Now, how and where to get legitimate therapy online for teenagers? Many popular platforms are designed to provide online treatment for emotionally and mentally affected teens. One of them that we are going to review in this article is teencounseling.com
About Teen Counseling
Teen Counseling is an online professional mental therapy platform specially built for affected teenagers and their parents. The platform offers support for improving teens’ mental health through a massive network of over 13,000 licensed therapists via text, phone, and video.
BetterHelp, which provides online mental therapy to adults, is the parent company of Teen Counseling. So, the mission of Teen Counseling remains the same as BetterHelp – providing affordable mental health therapy to teenagers aged 13 to 19.
It is a reliable platform designed to provide therapy to affected teens and their parents or legal guardians in different environments. It’s to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness of counseling.
Teen Counseling.com Review
Let’s know in detail about teen counseling.com for the actual review.
1. How is Online Therapy Structured?
Teen Counseling is a subsidiary of BetterHelp. The website is dedicated to both teens and their caregivers. So, connecting with mental therapy professionals online is the same. You can choose your respective role before proceeding to the next step of finding the right therapist.
Once you select the role to get started, you are presented with a detailed set of questions. Your responses to the questions will match you with a therapist based on your counseling needs.
How it Works for Parents?
Suppose you are a parent or a legal guardian. In that case, you can invite your teenage child to counseling sessions through an invite code. Once you sign up, the code can be sent to your child via email or text.
These sessions can be conducted separately if the child is uncomfortable sharing their thoughts with their parents or guardian.
As a parent, you can either request mental therapy for your child or seek parental advice. If you are unsure about your problem in detail, the platform allows you to decide later.
How it Works for Teenagers?
If you are a teenager signing up for their service, the process remains more or less the same. Before you get started, you are asked to enter your gender identity and fill out a short questionnaire.
Your gender need not be revealed if you do not wish to or want to keep it confidential. All teenagers must obtain consent from their parents or legal guardians before they are matched to a therapist.
It will ensure that no therapy happens in isolation and complete safety is guaranteed.
You are assigned a suitable counselor based on your responses to the short quiz. You can then officially begin your therapy sessions via your preferred mode of communication, such as messages, chat, phone calls, or video calls.
Every certified counselor on Teen Counseling specializes in providing talk therapy for a fixed set of mental health issues.
Since the therapy services differ from professional to professional, parents and children must discuss their therapy time slots and session durations independently with their assigned counselors.
TeenCounseling provides low-cost online mental therapy to teenagers along with parental guidance to their legal guardians or caregivers.
The therapy services are relatively less expensive, costing $60 to $90 per week, billed monthly, as opposed to in-person appointments worth $150 to $250 per session.
Since the pricing of Teen Counseling’s parent company, BetterHelp, was flagged, there are similar concerns about the cost of services provided by Teen Counseling.
According to the website, the charges may vary based on the location, the type and availability of the counselor, the respective time zones, and client preferences.
The final amount to be paid can also vary depending on the type of therapy sessions you want. You can find this out only after signing up.
3. Financial Aid and Insurance Coverage
Teen Counseling is affordable and high on the accessibility front. Still, it does not accept any insurance to cover therapy costs. Discussing your insurance plan with your therapist to check if reimbursement can be provided later is advisable.
Like BetterHelp, Teen Counseling is flexible enough to accommodate many teen mental health problems. The platform helps with effective counseling convenient for both therapists and clients.
You also have the option to take counseling services from anywhere in the world on the device of your choice without having to reveal your gender identity or sensitive background information. Also, the platform allows you to cancel your subscription anytime in case you are unsatisfied.
You can even switch the counselor or the therapist assigned to your child if you are unhappy with the results. All the professionals on Teen Counseling are board-certified, licensed mental therapy experts holding either a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in their respective fields.
Both teenagers and their parents can schedule and attend separate sessions in dedicated therapy rooms via live chat, phone call, or video call. You can pick and choose whatever is convenient for you.
It is suggested to schedule a suitable date and time after a brief conversation with your therapist/counselor to prevent timezone conflicts.
Teen Counseling is 100% compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at the AA level. So, differently-abled children can effortlessly access mental therapy sessions regardless of their devices.
Different accessibility preferences can be easily set using their accessibility instructions.
All your counseling or mental therapy sessions are easily accessible from the comfort of your homes and on the devices of your choice. However, cognitive therapy on this platform cannot be a substitute for in-person consultations with a psychiatrist who can also prescribe medication.
Teen Counseling only focuses on talk therapy. So, it should only be considered a sounding board for common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, past trauma, help with recovery from violent incidents, bullying, etc.
Teen Counseling claims to keep all therapy sessions 100% confidential. None of the interactions are shared with the concerned parents without the child’s permission.
The platform mentions private conversation rooms strictly dedicated to the therapist and the aggrieved teenager. So, the entire discussion remains completely discreet.
There are, however, certain exceptions when it comes to maintaining privacy. Suppose the child is suicidal and decides to attempt suicide. In that case, the conversation cannot be kept confidential and will involve the interference of the guardians.
If you are a teen who would want to get on a live phone call with your counselor, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your therapist. You then receive a prompt from your therapist requesting your phone number and informing you to begin the session as planned.
Once you input your phone number, the app automatically sets up an audio conversation between you and your therapist. The Teen Counseling website mentions that your contact information is 1005 private. So much so that it is not even disclosed to your counselor.
7. Pros and Cons of Teen Counseling
- Provides dedicated online mental therapy to teenagers and their parents in separate counseling rooms or virtual environments for maximum comfort
- The parents can choose to invite their teenage children into their therapy room
- The platform is simple to use and easily navigable, the same as its parent company BetterHelp
- Teenagers need not reveal their real identity when they feel insecure about taking therapy
- The legal guardians of affected teenagers are kept constantly in the loop without revealing sensitive details given by the aggrieved teenager, so their privacy is maintained
- The process to sign up and enroll is relatively straightforward
- You are quickly matched to a licensed therapist based on your needs submitted while signing up
- Freedom to change your counselor without paying any additional fees
- Affordable counseling via different modes of communication such as video calls, text messages, live chat, and phone calls
- A support team can be contacted via email or a contact form on the website
- They are HIPAA compliant and accept HSA/FSA cards across America
- You can easily pause, renew or cancel your subscription anytime.
- Although affordable, the pricing is not mentioned upfront
- The therapist hunt phase is highly impersonal as you cannot directly
select the therapist of your choice due to an automated process.
- Quick, but a fair amount of information about you is captured pre-sign-up before the actual costs are revealed.
- No insurance coverage is available.
- Every therapist is an individual service provider, so your
counseling techniques can vary from professional to professional.
- They do not have the authority to provide medical prescriptions
- Some customers have complained about poor-quality video sessions
- There is no option to take free trials
- As a subsidiary of BetterHelp, their claims of 100 % privacy and
complete HIPAA compliance are questionable.
- Therapy costs can vary based on your location, your therapist, and the other additional counseling that needs to be mentioned by you during sign-up.
- They have a reputation for not paying their therapy providers enough, so disgruntled providers may provide counseling that needs to be better.
- You will be billed for canceled or solo sessions.
Who Should Seek Teen Counseling?
Teen Consulting caters to the mental therapy needs of teenagers with their legal guardians in the loop.
The parents are always involved throughout counseling to avoid emergencies and crises. The parents and their children can attend therapy sessions together or separately in two virtual counseling rooms.
Suppose you are a teenager struggling to find emotional and mental health support for depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD, etc. In that case, you can sign up for the talk therapy services at Teen Counseling.
Parents with mentally affected teens can also take Teen Counseling services to seek special parental advice. Moreover, they can also enroll along with their teens to stay in touch with their child’s therapist.
How Does Teen Counseling Stack up Against its Competitors?
Talkspace, Amwell, Doctor On Demand, etc., are the top competitors of Teen Counseling.
Talkspace is slightly more expensive and fulfills the mental therapy needs of teens aged 13 to 17.
Teen Counseling starts for teenagers aged 13 and above. Once the child reaches adulthood, they can easily move their therapy to the leading company, BetterHelp.
Amwell, another competitor, caters to teens aged ten and above. All the leading competitors of Teen Counseling accept insurance but do not offer any financial aid.
Amwell and Doctor on Demand are far more expensive, as they charge north of $100 per session.
Talkspace, Amwell, and Little Otter provide free mental healthcare support and advice through informative guides, articles, and other website resources. So, they might have a competitive edge over Teen Counseling.
Little Otter provides virtual mental health support to children and their entire families. Additionally, the platform has a detailed pricing table, so there are no concerns about hidden costs.
Unlike Teen Counseling, Amwell, Little Otter, and Doctor on Demand have psychiatrists on board for medication management, helping teens with severe mental illnesses.
All in all, Teen Counseling is a reputable mental therapy platform for teens and their parents.
It’s tried and tested by many and can be a good option for those in the initial stages of mental health problems. However, the platform does not assist with diagnosis and prescription medicines.
Teen Counseling has several mixed reviews across the internet. It cannot be made the only dependable support system for teens with mental health issues.
The therapist you get also greatly determines your progress and the eventual outcome.
So, as responsible parents or guardians, you should be mindful of your child’s pain points and be in constant touch with the assigned counselor.
Also, give your child the support they desperately need during such fragile times.
She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Writer with a decade of expertise in psychology. Skilled in assessment, therapy, and patient care. Committed to helping individuals through clinical practice and mental health writing at Therapyjourney.co. Passionate about promoting mental well-being and awareness. Open to aligned opportunities.