One of the internet’s greatest attributes is its potential to provide millions of Americans with access to various health services, even from remote regions. Today, digital technology has transformed how many are receiving healthcare amid a global pandemic. Even prior to COVID-19, virtual health services–better known as telehealth–were radically transforming how people receive needed care. In particular, telehealth focusing on addiction and mental health has created a new opportunity to eliminate obstacles surrounding these key issues. There are other benefits of teletherapy, as well.
Teletherapy can provide flexible programs while offering proven methods that address mental health disorders. AspenRidge REACH offers comprehensive programs that address addiction and substance abuse disorder. Discover if online therapy works for you.
What is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy is an online delivery of mental health therapy services, or various other forms of therapy, via live video conferencing software. Teletherapy sessions are similar to traditional mental health appointments with one major exception. Rather than sitting face-to-face, clients and therapists interact via online conferencing.
During therapy sessions, clients and therapists can see, hear, and interact with one another in real time using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Because of its ease of access and proven efficacy, online therapy is a sought after technology. As with traditional forms of therapy, online mental health support can range in application and principles. The physical attributes of teletherapy are only mediums and tools.
Benefits of Teletherapy
The primary goal of teletherapy is to provide therapeutic support during difficult stages of life. Maybe you’ve recently experienced trauma or are struggling to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. Having direct support through teletherapy can make a world of difference as you move toward long-term recovery.
One of the primary obstacles of receiving mental health or even substance abuse support is its limited accessibility. According to the American Addiction Centers, in 2016, roughly 21 million Americans age 12 and older required substance abuse help. However, only about 18% received treatment.
Substance abuse rural and urban areas is a major health concern. A study published in the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that “when considering treatment needs, rural areas continue to be disproportionately disadvantaged with a lack of basic services and underutilization of available services when compared to urban” areas. Rural areas typically have fewer treatment facilities. Combined with the lack of available options for public transport, finding therapy can be impossible.
Other Way Teletherapy is Beneficial
The benefits of teletherapy extend beyond simply gaining access to programs from virtually anywhere. Other leading factors make virtual therapy an ideal fit for some including:
- Convenience and flexibility
- Increases consistency and regularity
- Removes barrier to receiving proper care
The healthcare industry continues to take strides in incorporating advancing technology into programs and treatment methodologies. Coronavirus helped to reveal gaps in quality care and long-term support. As trends move toward digital mediums, most therapy providers, like AspenRidge REACH, continue to tweak its approach to ensure rigorous, evidence-based standards.
1. Convenience and Flexibility
Due to its virtual features, teletherapy can be made available any time and anywhere. A study published by the NIH reveals one of the primary reasons Americans don’t seek help for mental health concerns is the lack of easy availability and awareness of treatment programs. As drug abuse and mental health trends continue to soar, it’s critical that programs can adopt and reach people in need of support.
Teletherapy offers a new services that promote convenience and ease. Many of us lead busy lives with numerous outside obligations. Teletherapy is a simple way to receive the care needed while maintaining home and work life. With traditional therapy, its difficult to incorporate therapy into a regular schedule with other responsibilities and commitments. The benefits of teletherapy allow for more flexibility.
2. Increases Consistency and Regularity
One of the major benefits of teletherapy is its ability to remain consistent in delivering evidence-based services. In order to achieve therapy goals, consistency is key. Fact remains, mental health disorders can disrupt even well-structured lives. Regular schedules with routine teletherapy can help individuals struggling with mental health concerns know what to expect, making it easier to face daily challenges.
Consistency within a busy life may seem next to impossible, but routine proves to be beneficial in numerous way. For one, a regular schedule can help people struggling with mental illnesses by addressing expectations, providing continued support, and thereby making it easier to face daily challenges that can trigger mental health symptoms. Steady progress allows more individuals to stay motivated throughout teletherapy services and it has proven to deliver on one-on-one, as well as group support.
3. Removing Barriers
Millennials are not alone in embracing teletherapy services. They are like the most engaged with these programs due to their familiarity with modern technology and using virtual systems to help manage everyday stress and mental concerns. As health-care costs skyrocket and employers seek alternatives to also ensure their employees’ mental health. Many companies are in expressing interest in transitioning to remote-based programs.
The unique benefits of teletherapy include its ability to eliminate and remove existing barriers. For example, mental health stigma has long been a challenge for those struggling with mental diagnoses. Individuals may be more willing to seek treatment provided they can maintain anonymity and teletherapy can offer this feature to clients. For example, American military members suffering from PTSD often neglect to mental health care for a few reasons including: 41.6% reporting they’re too embarrassed and 46.4% reporting they believed to be perceived as weak.
Mental health stigma is a real challenge for people struggling with mental illnesses, and this stigma can dissuade some people from taking medication. Make no mistake: mental health conditions are real diseases. They’re so real, in fact, that researchers are increasingly able to point to specific body chemistry and brain differences possessed by people with certain mental health conditions. But just as symptoms of cancer can improve when a cancer patient stops smoking, so too can the symptoms of mental health conditions with the right lifestyle changes. For people who have adverse reactions to medication or who refuse to take drugs, lifestyle changes are a valuable ingredient in the recipe for health and well-being.
Benefits of Teletherapy for Addiction
Research says that teletherapy is not only “an acceptable alternative” to traditional face-to-face care, but it can be just as effective.
To beat addiction we need help, and that help can come from many different places and people. Many people find the help they need to overcome addiction by turning to a rehabilitation in face-to-face settings. These rehab centers will often employ multiple therapies and services in building a recovery program. Teletherapy is helpful in giving counselors, therapists, and clients more flexibility. Teletherapy is also helpful in various types of psychotherapy services.
Therapy is often a key tool in many recovery programs used to help people realign their thinking, deal with stress and anxiety, and help them cope with life issues. Addiction can rob us of the ability to process information properly. It can make it difficult to deal with emotional issues with maturity. Getting in touch with our emotions and learning how to deal with problems instead of relying on alcohol or drugs is a vital step in recovery. Therapy programs and tools like teletherapy make coping in a sober and healthy way a reality, and it teaches us the tools we need to live sober lives.
Teletherapy as a Recovery Tool
People in recovery learn to rely on the support and programs of recovery, especially in the earliest stages, to successfully overcome their addictions. Not being able to get to a 12-step program meeting or make a weekly individual counseling session can be a big deal for those in a recovery program. Teletherapy is an answer to that problem. It can help keep us connected to the tools and resources that we need.
The improvements and tools of technology today have empowered and made possible the tools of teletherapy today. From video conferencing to the ability to interact in person via technology with meetings, counselors, or therapists means staying connected and plugged into the programs of recovery. And for those fighting addictions, staying connected to that support and those tools can be a matter of life and death.
Millions of Americans struggle with mental health. Unfortunately, guilt, shame, and stigma surrounding mental health disorders often prevents many from seeking treatment. The benefits of teletherapy provide an alternative method of supporting individuals who are facing anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, etc. AspenRidge REACH combines substance abuse treatment and evidence-based therapy to address co-occurring disorders. Our programs are virtually based, providing proven strategy that gives individuals the tools needed to succeed without self-medicating.
As an intensive outpatient program, REACH provides care through virtual systems that incorporate individualized and group sessions. Through video conferencing, AspenRidge can securely assist those struggling mental health concerns and co-occurring substance abuse problems.
Our programs offered include:
These twelve and six-week courses are designed to address substance abuse according to the severity and complexity of the symptoms. Each program offers flexibility and support through individual and group counseling, plus family counseling.
For more information on our virtual programs, go here. Contact us today for more information on care and enrollment, or to verify your insurance – call 720-650-8055.