Telehealth services have become widely used throughout the past two years due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some facilities offered virtual treatment services prior to the pandemic, it was not the norm. However, when the world shut down, treatment centers had to scramble to find a way to help their current and potential clients.
The evolution of virtual mental health services allowed millions to seek the necessary treatment required during this time. However, many question the effectiveness of telehealth services. Despite skepticism, many people have received effective treatment and have gone on to maintain their recovery.
Learning more about telehealth services and their pros and cons will help you understand if it is a good option for you and your situation. Many find that telehealth services offer the flexibility necessary to carry out everyday responsibilities while seeking treatment.
What Are the Potential Cons of Telehealth Services?
Telemental health services offer people a convenient and cost-effective way to seek therapy, treatment, and other medical services from the comfort of their own homes or wherever they are. However, what are the potential cons of telehealth?
The first potential con of telehealth is that not every medical service can be done virtually. For instance, this may be more true regarding physical health and medical services. Blood work, scans, and other services require in-person interaction, but a good chunk of telemental health services can be offered remotely. That does, of course, come with its own set of cons.
Cons of Telemental Health
Some of the potential cons of telemental health services include:
- Lack of body language. Therapists and mental health professionals can infer much about clients from their body language. When treating a client virtually – whether over the phone or via zoom – professionals can not fully see their clients’ bodies. Body language can improve communication with clients. Virtual therapy requires a client to be completely honest, as there is no body language to infer from.
- Increased distractions. Many clients love the flexibility of telehealth. However, it makes it hard for clients to be fully committed or focused if they are at work, taking care of their kids, or commuting during an appointment.
- Technology is not always reliable. Poor internet connection, lack of devices, or not having a quiet space to set up a laptop or computer can hinder treatment.
- Less intimacy and connection. Most would agree that virtual connection can not mimic in-person interactions. Being with people in person creates a bond that can make treatment and recovery more successful.
- Treatment may require a higher-intensity plan. Lastly, some mental health conditions or substance use disorders (SUDs) are severe enough to require in-person treatment. Perhaps individuals can consider telehealth as a continuing treatment plan, but initial in-person treatment may be necessary before doing so.
Benefits of Telehealth Services
There are definitely many benefits of telehealth services, but as mentioned, some require initial in-person treatment. Telehealth is an effective tool for individuals trying to maintain their sobriety. However, if you are searching for an addiction treatment program for the first time, you may consider a residential treatment program.
Some of the potential benefits of telehealth services include:
- Convenience. Our everyday lives can quickly become quite chaotic. Telehealth services offer people the flexibility to seek treatment from the comfort of their own homes. That means they do not have to find childcare, take more time from work to commute, or find transportation if they do not have a vehicle to use.
- More availability and fewer geographical restrictions. Considering telemental health options allows people to seek qualified help from individuals and not worry about them being within a commutable distance. That makes increases access and availability significantly.
- Reduced stigma and intimidation. Telemental health treatment also reduces the stigma and intimidation of in-person therapy. It can be nerve-racking to seek mental health treatment, especially if it is your first time. Virtual services relieve the anxiety and stigmas surrounding mental illness and make people more comfortable with their treatment.
Not all services can be offered virtually, but there are therapies you can utilize through telehealth services. Some of them include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – focuses on exploring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and understanding triggers associated with your addiction or mental illness. CBT also concentrates on recognizing and changing harmful thoughts and behaviors.
- Mindfulness and meditation therapy – can also be offered virtually. These practices can help recovery by increasing your awareness and self-examination and helping you feel grounded.
- Group therapy – can also be conducted in a virtual setting. Like in-person group therapy, interaction is vital, though it can be challenging to interact virtually. Despite the challenge, it can be effective, especially when you can not attend an in-person meeting.
You must determine if the potential benefits of telehealth services for mental health outweigh the cons. Some people love the convenience and flexibility of telemental health, but you may be the type that needs in-person interaction. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, so long as it benefits your recovery and mental health.
In times of devastation, we must find the silver linings and focus on the positive. One silver lining we can focus on regarding the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic is the growth of telehealth services. With telehealth services, individuals across the United States can seek mental health treatment from the comfort of their own homes. It is normal to be skeptical of the benefits of telemental health care, but it is also okay to be the type of person who prefers in-person treatment. There are pros and cons to both. Consider the pros and cons of telemental health care today. For treatment, call Excel Treatment Center at (877) 331-4114. We can help you on your path to recovery.