Telehealth therapies have become increasingly popular due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult to meet in person. Otherwise known as “telemedicine” or online treatment, telehealth solutions have been in use for decades but have recently come to the mainstream.
There have always been benefits to telemedicine, but it has become the go-to option for many during this pandemic. This is due to its ability to allow patients to seek the treatment they need without the risk of in-person contact.
What is Telehealth Therapy?
Teletherapy is a treatment offered digitally or online instead of in person. This can include FaceTime or other video conferencing, phone calls, online chats, and email.
The deciding factor of telehealth is that there is no in-person contact. Telehealth solutions allow patients to receive therapy without leaving the couch or home environment. When done well, telehealth therapy can benefit patients and providers by providing a private, safe, and easy alternative to traditional in-person methods.
According to a recent study, only 25% of respondents reported having a negative or unfulfilling experience with telehealth therapy. While it may seem awkward or difficult at first, telehealth solutions can actually help many people let down their guard without the potentially cumbersome in-person meetings.
Who Can Offer Teletherapy?
Telehealth therapy can only be offered by licensed professionals. While the field is still young and parameters are still being set, anyone licensed to practice traditional in-person therapy can practice telehealth therapy, assuming they are up for the technological challenges. Because licensure and laws vary by state, there may be some rules about where a patient can reside in relation to their telehealth therapist or insurance provider.
At New Directions for Women, our licensed counselors are now offering teletherapy options for addiction treatment, mental health counseling, and almost everything in between.
Benefits of Telehealth Therapy
There are many advantages to teletherapy over traditional offerings. Ease of access and the convenience of not having to travel or risk sickness have made therapy available to many who did not have access before.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that telehealth therapy is a safe and viable option at all times, not just when there is a public health crisis. Studies prove telehealth therapy can be just as effective as traditional in-person offerings. Some of the many benefits of telehealth are listed below.
- Ease of scheduling: Telehealth options can be scheduled without travel time or waiting in the office and can be worked around your work and family life to suit your needs.
- Convenience of at-home treatment: You can receive treatment from any location that has internet access.
- Affordability for patients and providers: There is little to no overhead for teletherapy. Along with no travel costs and convenient scheduling, it can prove to be significant savings over in-person therapy.
- Flexibility of different options: From group therapy to twelve-step programs to individual options, there is a telehealth option for anyone.
- Privacy and confidentiality: With no wait times, no awkward waiting rooms, and the privacy of your own home, telehealth therapy provides the privacy and confidentiality patients deserve.
Teletherapy Options for Everyone
Entering into a therapeutic relationship is an essential step in any treatment plan and thus should not be taken lightly. Researching the best mode and therapist for you or your loved one is an essential step to any successful treatment plan.
We understand cost is an important aspect of your telehealth search. Thankfully, most insurance providers now offer telehealth solutions at no additional cost. Many different online databases, such as Psychology Today, give you the opportunity to sort providers by the insurance options they accept.
While it was not standard practice just a few years ago, most insurance providers now understand that mental health is an integral part of a holistic health plan. Make sure you check with your insurance provider to see what options may be available to you. Occasionally, mental health coverage will fall under a different provider than your main plan, so make sure you have all your information correct.
Even if you do not have insurance, you are not out of luck. You will, however, want to research which care can offer the best value for your money and what your out of pocket costs might be.
The Right Telehealth Therapist for You
It’s extremely important to consider what type of therapist or treatment will be the best fit for you. At New Directions, our staff is almost all female and they understand the unique needs of women. We have many different incredible care providers who specialize in all modern therapeutic techniques.
If you or someone you love suffers from common co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety and addiction, you will want to choose a licensed therapist who specializes in dual diagnosis.
Every woman deserves a great therapist who understands her. At New Directions, we are committed to pairing you with the best possible telehealth counselor. There is no shame in being picky about your care. The more particular you are in choosing your provider, the more likely your treatment is to be successful. We are committed to walking you through this complex process and seeing you through to the end.
Teletherapy and COVID-19
2020 has been a year to remember, and we are all feeling the wide-ranging effects of coronavirus. The virus has forced almost every industry to reexamine best practices, and the treatment realm is no exception. Thankfully, telehealth solutions are abundant, safe, and effective, and their usage is at an all-time high.
While the mental health strain of the pandemic is weighing on all of us, we have yet to see an increase in relapse that coincides with an increase in telehealth therapy. At New Directions, we will give you a telehealth experience that meets all the needs of traditional in-person treatment.
Connecting patients with therapists face-to-face have proven extremely effective over the years. However, these uncertain times call for innovative treatments. Fortunately, we offer a full gamut of telehealth solutions. We are committed to improving the quality and numbers of our telehealth solutions. At New Directions for Women, we care about improving our communities through addiction treatment and we believe that now more than ever we need to carry our weight.
Intensive Outpatient Program at New Directions
The intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is a tried and true method for addiction treatment that generally consists of on-campus treatment several days a week without an overnight stay. However, due to COVID-19, we are forced to reimagine what an effective IOP can look like without face-to-face care.
IOPs have proven to be a successful method of treatment for those who do not need the intensive care of an inpatient program. An IOP benefits patients by allowing them to continue their lives with relative normalcy, and a “virtual” IOP is even better for that reason.
As we reimagine what virtual treatment can look like, we have taken strides to bring as much effectiveness as possible to the telehealth arena.
Teletherapy IOP at New Directions
With today’s technology, there is often little need to travel to an in-person clinic for treatment. At New Directions, we are committed to providing you a state of the art teletherapy experience.
Teletherapy is not necessarily just a substitute for face-to-face appointments. In fact, it may become the preferred method of treatment for many patients. At New Directions, we are doing our best to implement many of the successful aspects of our traditional IOP program.
At New Directions, we use what is known as the “Matrix Model.” This method institutes several stages of treatment including relapse-prevention, comprehensive education on the presenting issue, social support, individual and group therapy and a strict testing regiment. Our licensed professional therapists lead our sessions with empathy and skill, meeting our women where they are. Our educational sessions attempt to inform both the patient and their family of success strategies, pitfalls, and best practices. We hope to provide a truly holistic experience.
Virtual IOP Components
While teletherapy may look a little different than traditional IOP sessions, we are striving to transition most of our successful components to a virtual setting. Below, you’ll find some of what you may expect to find in our telehealth intensive outpatient program.
- Individual and group therapy
- Early recovery skills groups
- Relapse prevention training
- Family education group and family group sessions
- Social support groups and accountability
- 12 step programs with mentors
- Mindfulness meditation
- Drug Testing – random weekly
Begin Your Telehealth Journey with New Directions Today!
At New Directions, we are committed to adapting to the needs of a changing world and the desires of our patients. While we are confident in our ability to provide safe in-person care, we are also excited to invest and innovate in the teletherapy arena.
We are excited to help you or your loved one conquer your addictions and mental health hurdles. We know this time is trying for all of us and we are in your corner. Contact us today and let us explain how our telehealth solutions can be tailor-made for your needs!