Can Individuals Achieve Treatment Through Telehealth Services?

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.

Telehealth Therapy

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 (833) 883-9235. We can help you on your path to recovery. 

Benefits of Behavioral Therapy

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), chances are you may develop symptoms of co-occurring mental disorders. Learning more about the different evidence-based modalities available during treatment may help you better understand your treatment options. Behavioral therapy is an effective way to heal.

Many modalities used in treating mental illnesses fall into the category of behavioral therapy. During sessions, you’ll work to identify negative thoughts or harmful behaviors. Then, you’ll attempt to deconstruct irrational thoughts and problematic behaviors. Ideally, you want to replace them with healthier patterns. This can prove helpful in the treatment of SUDs and mental disorders.

Formats of Behavioral Therapy

You may experience behavioral therapy in two formats: individual therapy and group therapy. Both of these options offer benefits that you may need in your healing journey. Which you’ll engage in depends on your support needs.

Individual Therapy

When people think of therapy, they usually think of individual therapy. Together with your therapist, you will explore the connection between thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. You will dissect past trauma, discover your triggers, and get to the root cause of your illnesses. With individual therapy, you can feel empowered to have some control over where the conversation goes. That does, however, require you to be honest about what treatments are working or not. You’ll also be exposed to a number of new concepts and ways of thinking.

Therapy also helps you manage your traumas, feelings, and emotions without substances. Individuals learn to cope with stress and cravings through many healthy techniques. These techniques can be used post-treatment and help individuals maintain a long-term life of recovery.

Group Therapy

In addiction treatment programs, individual therapy and group therapy work side by side. Group therapy may feel strange at first. Discussing your deepest and darkest feelings with strangers is challenging, but doing so provides excellent results. That is because group therapy is about connecting with people who understand your story. Isolation is dangerous, and group sessions remind you that you are not alone.

A therapist typically leads a group to provide structure. It is undoubtedly different than an individual session, but that can be good. You will learn to discuss your addiction and listen to others. We often forget how important it is to listen. Listening to the stories of others can help you. Moreover, your experiences have the power to help others as well.

Substance Use Disorders

A literature review published in the American Journal of Psychiatry examined the history of behavioral therapies for SUDs. The effectiveness of behavioral therapies was not seen until the mid-1980s. Even then, results were only seen when treating conditions like depressive, panic, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. These therapies were implemented into treatment programs at this time, but people did not believe them to be helpful.

Flash forward to today, and behavioral therapies are integral to addiction treatment. The growth of behavioral therapy techniques has made them highly effective for SUDs. Within a treatment program, you may be exposed to multiple therapies, including:

These behavioral therapies are only a few modalities that may aid you in your addiction treatment journey. As you go through behavioral therapy, you also may engage in holistic therapies that balance your overall wellness on your way to sobriety.

Behavioral Therapy and Co-Occurring Disorders

As mentioned, behavioral therapies are also constantly used in treating co-occurring disorders. A co-occurring disorder occurs when someone struggling with a SUD also develops a mental illness or vice versa. Examples of co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder

When experiencing mental disorders and a SUD, you may fall into a cycle of negative behavior. For example, you may be in a situation where your anxiety is so bad that you continuously turn to substance use as a way to cope. That cycle repeats itself over and over again, leading to the development of a SUD. Similarly, symptoms of a SUD will intensify the longer it goes untreated. The impact of that SUD can trigger latent mental illnesses. In either case, symptoms of one disorder exacerbate the other, and seeking treatment for both is necessary.

The Benefits of Behavioral Therapy

Mental health professionals implement behavioral therapy when treating people with mental conditions like depression, anxiety, or SUD. This therapeutic modality can effectively treat co-occurring disorders. Behavioral therapies have a number of potential benefits.

When implemented correctly, behavioral therapy can improve self-esteem, change negative thinking patterns or behaviors, improve communication, and teach new coping skills. As discussed, these therapies can occur individually and in a group setting, allowing for your comfort as the client.

Not only is this therapy effective during addiction treatment programs; it can help in recovery. The skills you learn will aid you in maintaining your sobriety.

Behavioral therapy is integral to both addiction and mental health treatment. By engaging in this modality, you can improve your emotional regulation, thought patterns, and coping skills. You’ll find that you’re better at managing triggers and cravings too. Excel Treatment Center can provide you with all that and more. We offer a variety of treatments, including behavioral therapy. We’ll encourage you to engage in both traditional and holistic therapies to stimulate your mind and body during healing. Through symptom tracking, we monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed. When you’re ready to take control of your mind, call Excel Treatment Center at (833) 883-9235 to start your treatment program.