Is Online Rehab Effective?
The purpose of therapy, whether online or not remains the same – your licensed therapist will work with you to identify what is no longer working for you in your current life, and set goals to address these issues.
Such issues, aside from addiction, might include communication patterns, managing emotions, stress management, relationship patterns, or life goals.
While the year 2020 brought more services online, online therapy may not be as new as we think it is; therapists have been using the internet successfully since the early 2000’s to make therapy and treatment more accessible (Rocklen, Zack & Speyer, 2004).
We do know that oftentimes, the rapport between you and your therapist can be the biggest predictor of positive outcomes in therapy, including specifically in addiction treatment (Joe, Simpson, Dansereau & Rowan-Szal, 2001;).
While online therapy does present new challenges to this, such as limited body language exchange, offering therapy while you are comfortable at home also provides new ways of developing connection; we get to see a small glimpse into your home life that we probably would not if you were coming to our office.
For example, it’s common for pets to be nearby or perhaps cuddling during the session that we get to meet, or we get to see what you look like at your most comfortable.
Your own comfort and grounding items are also nearby which provides a unique opportunity to practice skills in a very real way, in real time.
These are important moments of relationship building that are unique to online therapy.
We also know that empathy from your clinician is incredibly important for positive outcomes (Elliott et. Al., 2018), and we can assure you that our team is empathetic to your circumstances.
While everyone has most definitely experienced it differently, we, too, have experienced the pandemic and lock downs that might be affecting your mental health and having a screen between us does not negate that we can feel that as well.
How to Decide If Online Rehab is Right for You?
Online rehab programming may be for you if:
- You want to remain in your own home as you navigate early recovery from substances
- You have a stable home internet connection
- You want to be able to practice skills and tools in your every day life, as you learn them
- You have other duties such as household care, childcare, or pet care that might interfere with leaving your home for inpatient treatment
- You feel supported by the family and friends you have around at home
- or if you want to get treatment now, from the safety and comfort of your home.
Online addiction and mental health rehabilitation programming is also a great way for those who may not be able to leave their homes due to health complications during the pandemic and lockdown.
Completing treatment from home also requires a motivation to set boundaries with others in your space that may not be supportive, and an ability to work on balance as you commit to group times while also tending to your other responsibilities outside of this time.
– Elliott et. Al., 2018. Therapist Empathy and Client Outcome: An Updated Meta-Analysis. Psychotherapy 55, pp 399-410
– Joe, Simpson, Dansereau & Rowan-Szal, 2001. Relationships Between Counselling Rapport and Drug Abuse Treatment Outcomes. Psychiatric Services 52(9), pp 1223-1229
– Rocklen, Zack & Speyer, 2004. Online Therapy: Review of Relevant Definitions, Debates, and Current Empirical Support. Journal of Clinical Psychology 60(3), pp. 269-283