Online therapy and remote treatment programs are radically changing how people receive support for mental health and drug addiction. Therapists and addiction specialists are hailing online treatment for its ability to deliver help without the barriers in-person programs often identified. But what are online therapy statistics showing? Is treatment through digital methods easier and more effective?
One of the first questions we receive at AspenRidge REACH is whether or not online drug treatment works. With climbing rates of drug overdoses, families nationwide are clinging to new treatment options provided by addiction specialists. To learn more about our effective programs, contact us directly at 720-650-8055.
Online Therapy Options
While online therapy presents some challenges, it has received widespread support from clients who have utilized online treatment options. A study by the World Journal of Psychiatry found that patients receiving mental health treatment through video conferencing reported “high levels of satisfaction.”
For assistance with addiction, counseling programs help individuals deal with underlying co-occurring mental health issues and address substance abuse. It is specifically valuable for those who are unable or unwilling to attend in-patient treatment. Clients can handle a wide range of topics including, alcohol, drug, or other addictive substance abuse, couples difficulties, and mental health issues.
Other forms of Online Therapy include:
- Depression Help
- Marriage Counseling
- Anxiety Support Groups
- Christian Counseling Services
- Anger Management Classes
- Addiction Recovery
The good news is that online therapy statistics are looking favorable for treatment methods since the start of the pandemic. Due to in-person restrictions and other precautionary health and safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, online therapy has emerged as a practical, reliable, and effective way for many to prioritize their mental health.
What Are the Numbers Showing?
A study conducted by Verywell Mind found that “an overwhelming 91% of people currently in online therapy agree that more people should try it, a ringing endorsement that no doubt clears the runway for online therapy’s continued success.”
A report provided by Portland State University summarized findings based on participants who received mental health treatment via online versus those receiving from face-to-face programs. Surprisingly, the conclusions found that those receiving help virtually scored higher across the board in assessments for Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and Client Satisfaction Scale (CSS).
According to Mental Health America, there are important factors to consider when looking at online therapy statistics. For example:
- Adolescents from people aged 10 to 19 years old have had more varied reactions to teletherapy.
- Despite theories that people with serious mental health conditions–such as substance abuse disorders and post traumatic stress disorder–would be less likely to convert to teletherapy due to COVID-19-related treatment barriers, studies found similar conversion rates for both the serious mental health condition population and the general help-seeking population.
- Long-term teletherapy isn’t for everyone but has aided many during the shutdowns concerning the pandemic.
According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, over half of Americans surveyed in 2018 who considered mental health or behavioral treatment programs found it too hard to get or too expensive. Teletherapy is working to eliminate some of these barriers.
Over 20 million Americans have an active addiction. However, only about 10% of people with an addiction seek or receive treatment. What’s more, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, an estimated 100 or more people nationwide die per day from a drug overdose. Virtual addiction treatment may be able to offset these astronomical rates of drug addiction.
What Makes Online Therapy So Popular?
Aside from positive online therapy statistics, there are obvious benefits of teletherapy. Many people feel embarrassed, stressed, or depressed about their addiction. Some find it physically or emotionally impossible to seek in-person treatment. Online therapy offers affordable treatment that is accessible and available anytime, anywhere.
The stigmatization of people with substance use disorders is extremely problematic and many individuals experience a great deal of shame as a result. In addition to there being a great risk of homelessness and drug use itself, the legitimate fear of people with an addiction breeds a society that looks at the disease as a character flaw or lack of self control. Unfortunately, these long standing stigmas keep millions of people with an addiction unable to find treatment solutions that are discreet and effective.
In general, there are three major reasons that a person may be more willing to try teletherapy for substance abuse, including:
Access to a computer, laptop, or smartphone provides a clear-cut method for individuals to receive help from medical doctors, psychotherapists or counselors, and addiction treatment specialists.
How Successful is Online Therapy?
Online therapy is gaining both recognition and popularity demonstrated through various studies. To date, online substance abuse counseling has shown a high degree of patient and counselor satisfaction. Online therapy stats show that 80% of clients found online therapy as effective as other counseling and rehab options as noted in a TalkSpace.com survey.
Other useful online therapy statistics include:
- An American Psychology survey discovered that almost 100% of clients said online therapy was more convenient and more comfortable.
- A University of California study revealed a positive reaction from both counselors and clients toward online therapy.
- The National Center for Research found that patients were just as likely to stick with online therapy as in-person therapy and they were equally satisfied with the online service model.
- A 2014 study in Journal of Affective Disorders found online therapy for such mental health issues as stress, depression, anxiety, and phobias as effective as in-person counseling.
- A 2018 study in Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online cognitive behavioral therapy was a practical, effective, and acceptable alternative to face-to-face counseling for patients with major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety disorder.
Advantages of Online Treatment
Online addiction treatment and treatment for co-occurring (dual diagnosis) conditions meet the needs of those who find it difficult to attend in-person therapy. It removes geographic or timetable barriers to accessing treatment. Typically, online options include individual and group therapy. They also provide one-on-one support using methodology like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address substance misuse, abuse, and dependency.
Where clients’ work schedule is difficult to accommodate, on-site counseling may not be feasible. Online therapy can occur anywhere, any time of the day to fit work and family obligations.
Accessibility & Needed Support
Traditional in-person counseling may be very limited in both location and program offerings. Online counseling is available, upon agreement with the therapist, 24/7. The only tools required are a tablet, laptop, computer, or smartphone and Internet access.
Many individuals seeking recovery from alcohol or drug addiction may be experiencing co-occurring mental health problems. Online counselors are trained and have experience treating co-occurring conditions.
Stigma & Safety
Those who need therapy often worry about the stigma involved when family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers discover they are seeing a counselor or therapist. Online counseling eliminates public attention to recovery and rehab. Online counseling occurs in the privacy of clients’ homes or workspaces.
Online counseling lets individuals get help in a secure environment. There is no anxiety over locating the counseling center, dealing with traffic, finding the right building, and meeting strangers.
Face-to-face conversations can be intimidating and overwhelming. This can be a major roadblock to seeking help. Online counseling facilitates creating a safe, comfortable environment for counseling and recovery.
Disadvantages of Virtual Treatment
Choose Help has noted some disadvantages of online or virtual therapy, including:
- Miscommunication between client and therapist may result from the therapists not being able to see and interpret body language or non-verbal cues. It’s critical that online programs are selected based on their treatment methodology as well as their ability to deliver effective and quality treatment via technology.
- If a client in crisis or has a critical psychiatric condition, online therapy may not be a good fit.
- Online therapy could pose a greater risk than in-person sessions to patient confidentiality. Again, it’s critical to evaluate the policy and safety measures that teletherapy providers take to ensure and protect confidentiality.
- Some areas may have unreliable internet connections. This could interrupt or preclude the delivery of online therapy.
In all, it’s critical to talk to potential providers and request a summary of their processes and policies. Critical questions you might ask prior to enrolling in online addiction care, include:
- How is my information kept safe?
- Do I need special equipment?
- How does your therapy process work?
- How long are the therapy sessions?
- How do you develop a plan that’s right for my situation?
- Are sessions private and confidential?
AspenRidge REACH: Online Addiction Help
The REACH online program has demonstrated a high degree of popularity with both patients and AspenRidge online therapists.
Because every client has unique needs, REACH offers several delivery options. This includes both individual and group counseling sessions. Through video conferencing, clients meet with counselors three times a week.
REACH 12-Week Online Intensive Outpatient Program
In this online twelve-week program, board-certified, licensed therapists interact both individually and in small-group counseling with their clients through private, HIPAA compliant video.
The goal of online intensive outpatient therapy is to help clients achieve sobriety and achieve a fulfilling life.
Using evidence-based treatment, counselors address the unique needs of each patient. Therapy techniques include one-on-one therapy, group counseling, and family sessions.
REACH Online Outpatient Program
This outpatient treatment program aims to fit the needs of those with a mild need for clinical care. This program is led by qualified, experienced therapists in weekly, ninety-minute group counseling sessions. Group therapy occurs over private, HIPAA compliant video.
These sessions work best for those who have completed the twelve-week online outpatient program. However, the REACH Outpatient Program is also an alternative for those who want telehealth assistance. REACH counselors are specifically trained to facilitate licensed online counseling in individual and small-group sessions using our private, HIPAA compliant video.
Contact AspenRidge REACH Today
Are you unsure which of AspenRidge’s many treatment options will work best for you? Give us a call. A knowledgeable, empathetic intake counselor familiar with AspenRidge’s treatment programs will discuss which one will best fit your needs.
Our trained, experienced staff members are eager to help you and your family make an informed decision about which of AspenRidge’s treatment and rehab options are best suited to your unique needs.
To talk to a qualified, board-certified counselor, call 720-650-8055.