Online therapy: is it as effective as in-person therapy?

Have you ever been offered online therapy for your child, but the whole idea of it just puzzled you? Parents often worry about the effectiveness of online therapy, how their children will maintain good communication during their online sessions, and if online therapy is just added screen time.

How effective is online therapy?

Numerous studies have been conducted on how effective online therapy is for children. It has been found that telehealth services are as powerful, if not more, than in-person therapy (Snoswell et al., 2021).

Will my little one benefit from teletherapy?

Teletherapy is just like in-person therapy except that it requires the internet. Your children can have their behavioral therapy, speech therapy, and all other sorts of therapy in the comfort of their homes.

Telehealth can be extremely beneficial, and increase compliance in particular circumstances, for example:

  • Families that live too far from their therapist. If you do not have reliable transportation means, or simply waste too much time till you reach your therapist, surely online will be a better option.
  • Children who have chronic health problems.
  • Families who have busy schedules.

However, sometimes teletherapy does not work. If your child has a short attention span or has problems sitting still, in-person sessions would be a better option.

Is online therapy too much screen time?

The WHO states that children younger than five years should spend one hour or less on electronic devices. Meanwhile, those younger than one should spend no time at all. Studies show that increased screen time is linked to ADHD and autism (Hill et al., 2020).

However, fortunately, online therapy is not added screen time. Online therapy is considered good screen time.

How is teletherapy different from screen time?

Screen time lacks communication and interaction. On the other hand, online therapy is cognition-stimulating. Children spend time interacting with other humans during their online sessions, which is not the case with screen time.


Studies show that teletherapy is indeed effective and safe for your little ones. You can go ahead, and enjoy the benefit of therapy in the comfort of your home without worrying about added screen time!

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