Disadvantages Of Online Therapy During Pennsylvania Rehab

When the covid pandemic started, many people were forced to find alternative online solutions for common in-person services. We saw a huge surge in the popularity of online shopping and food ordering. Most service-based businesses scrambled to find a way to offer their services in a remotely-accessible way. There were even several online mental health services that rose to prominence during this time. However, there was also some controversy related to the choice of therapists these online therapy services employed. Now that the world is slowly returning to normal, people seeking treatment can rely on in-person therapy and professional rehab centers in PA. Some even choose to combine online therapy with face-to-face treatment; unfortunately, that doesn’t always give the best results. To help you understand this matter, we will examine the potential advantages and disadvantages of online therapy during Pennsylvania rehab.

Man attending online therapy.
Online therapy grew in popularity during the pandemic lockdowns.

What is Online Therapy

Online psychotherapy relies on using modern technology to connect patients with healthcare providers. Connecting through online services, individuals in need of therapy can access the services of professional therapists regardless of location. This allows users in remote locations to receive help even if there are no licensed psychotherapists in their vicinity. Although online therapy may seem like a novel concept, remote therapy has existed for decades. Remote counseling was previously conducted by telephone or real-time chat. However, nowadays, it is most commonly done through video conference calls, relying on platforms such as Skype or Zoom.

Modern technology is pushing this trend forward by using machine learning and AI chatbots. Although there have been significant improvements in these self-help apps, they are still far from replacing a professional therapist. For now, at least, these chatbots can’t offer anything other than generalized advice. You could find these types of ‘mental hacks’ in magazines and self-help books. While there is some use for such software, it cannot be used to diagnose or properly treat serious mental conditions. Self-diagnosing will usually do more harm than good, and it’s highly recommended to seek professional help if you are struggling.

Attending the Little Creek rehab center in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania means that you will have access to mental health counseling. Our drug and alcohol addiction therapy programs in PA include mental health support and education. From our experience, informed and educated patients can easily make healthy life decisions. Learning how to balance your mental state is essential for patients, allowing them to remain sober and lead productive lives.

Man in video conference call with therapist.
Some patients have a hard time opening up during online therapy.

The Rise in Popularity of Online Therapy

Although many remote forms of therapy existed for years, there was a sudden surge in popularity during COVID restrictions. Since everyone was forced to stay at home or in their neighborhood, access to therapy was at best limited. People who had regular, scheduled sessions with a therapist couldn’t get across town to receive therapy. The lockdowns forced most mental health providers to look into online platforms as a means of holding sessions. With both patients and therapists looking for ways to connect, the next logical step was to look for eligible platforms. There wasn’t a need for specialized video conferencing software dedicated to holding therapeutic sessions. Any platform allowing video chatting would suffice, which led to the almost-instant rise in the popularity of Zoom and Skype.

Many people, who previously didn’t consider getting therapy found themselves struggling with the new requirements of life in lockdown. For some, online therapy would be a means to deal with their accumulated stress and anxiety. With an increasing number of people looking for remote therapy, several already existing mental health platforms rose in prominence.

Consumer habits are quick to form, especially in exceptional circumstances. This was the case with the pandemic-induced lockdowns. People seemingly got used to online shopping for all of their needs, including remote services through online platforms. However, even when the circumstances which caused these habits to form have ended, most habits remain ingrained. Therefore, people still look to online shopping and services – including online therapy. We don’t expect this trend to end anytime soon, and there are some obvious advantages to online therapy. Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages of online therapy during Pennsylvania rehab. To give you a better understanding of what online therapy can provide, we’ll examine both the pros and the cons.

Advantages of Online Therapy

The most obvious benefit of online therapy is that it is readily available. Individuals who don’t have physical access to a therapist in their area can look for licensed therapists online. The availability of online therapy means that anyone with an internet connection can get treatment for their mental health issues. It is even possible to have sessions with a therapist from a different country. For example, US expats living in non-English speaking countries can have sessions with therapists who are native English speakers.

Second, the popularity of online therapy has reduced the stigma surrounding mental health issues. There is much more awareness and understanding regarding mental health disorders and their treatment. Entering therapy for mental health issues is becoming normalized, which leads more people to seek help.

Online therapy can be anonymous and some people may be more willing to attend sessions that aren’t face-to-face. During online therapy, users don’t necessarily need to turn on their cameras or reveal their identity. Although this can be seen as a benefit, there are some disadvantages to this approach. If you reduce the information you give to your therapist and conduct sessions anonymously, you are also limiting social cues. Therapists may have a harder time perceiving subtle changes in behavior.

Remotely conducted therapy is easier to schedule and attend since there is no need to travel. Since users can attend sessions, regardless of their location, the additional costs associated with therapy are reduced. Patients don’t have to pay for transportation or parking. Additionally, both parties might have an easier time fitting a session into otherwise busy schedules.

Woman administering remote therapy to patient.
Some therapists are also skeptical regarding the efficiency of online treatment.

Disadvantages of Online Therapy

While there are many obvious upsides to online therapy, there are also many serious disadvantages we must address. Despite existing for years, online therapy is still relatively new when compared to traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. There is a lot of ongoing discussion regarding the many ethical issues against remote psychotherapy. We will address the most critical ones here.

Finding an adequate therapist is challenging, even for in-person therapy. However, for online therapy, it can be difficult to check the credential of your therapist. When partaking in remote sessions with a therapist from another country, their education and training can be hard to verify.

Receiving help for your mental health issues through a computer screen often feels impersonal. Patients might have difficulties developing trust and an emotional connection with their therapist. The artificial distance can directly influence your sessions’ effectiveness and expected outcome.

There are numerous limitations based on the way therapy is conducted. These communication issues mostly stem from technological limitations and are not present in face-to-face sessions. Due to the lack of social cues, therapists may have trouble understanding their patients and accurately assessing their current state.

One of the most discussed disadvantages of online therapy is the glaring privacy, confidentiality, and security issues. Regardless of your efforts to control your personal information online, video-conferencing platforms are vulnerable to hacking. It’s almost impossible to guarantee total privacy in online spaces. Patients can be aware of these flaws, making them more reluctant to share information during sessions. Unfortunately, withholding information can negatively impact how well your therapist can treat you.

Technical issues can disrupt online sessions. Disconnections and screen freezes can frustrate users and reduce the effectiveness of therapy. Additionally, patients must have a certain level of technical literacy to attend online sessions.

The Advantages of Face-to-Face Therapy During Pennsylvania Rehab

Incoming patients who have a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental disorder are given a dual diagnosis treatment centers in Pennsylvania. They are also provided with treatment that will concurrently address their addiction and other mental health issues. Treating all conditions simultaneously is the best way for patients to recover and learn to balance their mental state.

As part of the clinical program in Little Creek, we also provide patients with face-to-face therapy sessions with licensed psychotherapists. Therapy is conducted in individual and group sessions, under the supervision of experienced addiction therapists. Here are some of the main benefits of attending face-to-face therapy during Pennsylvania rehab:

Understand the Rehabilitation Process

We can perform an initial assessment over the phone when you first contact us, and we explain how therapy functions. However, all patients receive a full evaluation upon arrival at Little Creek Lodge. We always offer patients fully personalized treatment based on their needs.

In your first sessions with your therapist, they will assess your mental state and develop a detailed treatment plan. They will walk you through all the essential rehabilitation steps and set clear goals and milestones. Your therapist will also make sure you understand the rehabilitation process and monitor your progress through frequent evaluations.

Efficiency and Tracking of Progress

There has been much debate over the efficiency of online therapy, and many still doubt the overall efficacy. However, we are committed to your success in face-to-face therapy during your rehab. Most mental disorders are chronic, which means they require long-term treatment. You must learn to manage your mental state if you wish to live a sober and carefree life.

At Little Creek, we provide patients with a continuum of care and prepare them to transition out of treatment. Patients can gradually transition out of our programs when they are satisfied with their progress. Our clients always have plenty of resources available, if they ever need support.

A handshake between patient and therapist.
In-person treatment can help patients trust their therapists.

Easier to Open Up to a Therapist

Most patients need to develop a level of trust with their therapist before they can open up to them. However, patients must also be willing to own up to their mistakes and failings and do a lot of soul-searching. Opening up to a therapist is much easier when in-person sessions are conducted since it guarantees privacy and trust.

Group sessions represent an equally important ingredient of therapy. Sometimes, patients feel more comfortable opening up after listening to the struggles and progress of other patients. Group sessions can make patients feel more connected once they realize they are not alone. Additionally, getting support from other patients is an excellent way of building functional social relationships.

A Safe Space for Therapy

For true healing to begin, patients must first feel safe and comfortable. To help foster the recovery process, we provide our clients with an environment where they can relax and unwind. Being honest with yourself can require a lot of dedication, and shutting out the outside world can be extremely helpful.

Confidence in Your Therapist

To progress in your therapy, there must be a level of trust and understanding with your therapist. Patients generally feel more comfortable working with an in-person therapist. However, knowing that your therapist is licensed and accredited is also essential. Little Creek Recovery Center adheres to the highest standards and practices regarding the level of care we provide. All of our staff are fully licensed and they always treat patients with care and respect.

One of the main disadvantages of online therapy is the lack of a support group.
Group therapy can help patients develop social skills.

Blended Therapy

In psychotherapy, blended therapy usually refers to a combination of online and face-to-face sessions. The sessions in blended therapy can be conducted by the same psychiatrist. However, in most cases, patients in blended programs attend sessions with different therapists. Sometimes, patients will use computer programs to assist and optimize their therapeutic process. Unfortunately, a large number of professional therapists expressed negative attitudes towards this form of combined treatment.

Even those therapists who are positive towards web-based treatment are skeptical regarding the widespread acceptance by patients and other professionals. Some of the main disadvantages of online therapy were the lack of nonverbal communication and the unsuitability for all patients. To receive online treatment, patients must have a certain degree of technical literacy and a willingness to attend online treatment. Even if patients take part in blended therapy, their negative attitudes can influence the outcomes.

The Disadvantages Of Online Therapy During Pennsylvania Rehab

During in-person therapy in Little Creek, our therapists can administer behavioral therapy and help patients understand their substance use. During CBT patients can develop productive coping skills and learn to choose healthy alternatives to drug use. CBT treatment plan for substance abuse can help manage substance use and other mental issues. However, cognitive behavioral therapy requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Patients will need to come face-to-face with their addiction triggers to learn how to process them.

Although CBT has proven to be an extremely effective form of treatment, it is initially a slow process. Patients must identify their self-destructive thoughts causing them to exhibit negative behavior. This process can be emotionally painful and draining. However, under the guidance of experienced addiction therapists, patients can identify their negative thoughts. One of the main disadvantages of online therapy during Pennsylvania rehab is that it can disrupt the ongoing treatment the addiction therapist has set up. Patients in rehab who are receiving behavioral therapy and CBT or DBT for substance abuse are in a delicate mental state. Any outside interference from a therapist who isn’t involved in their ongoing treatment can have harmful effects. Online therapy can undo a lot of the hard work patients have put into overcoming their negative coping skills.

For these reasons, we require all Little Creek patients to fully commit to our structured living and treatment programs. Under our supervision and guidance, they can let go of negative behaviors and adopt positive and healthy lifestyle habits. Rehab is a place where you should focus on yourself and your recovery. Moreover, do not allow patients to bring in any online electronics or internet-capable devices. You can contact our admission coordinators for a list of things you can bring to rehab.

In-Person Activities During Pennsylvania Rehab

Rehabilitation in Little Creek isn’t just about getting patients to stop using drugs or alcohol. At our Lake Ariel rehab facility, we have a holistic approach that includes treating both the mind and the body. We believe that spending less time in front of a computer screen can help patients focus on getting better. Due to the disadvantages of online therapy during Pennsylvania rehab, we encourage patients to participate in in-person activities. Reconnecting with your body and learning healthy new skills can help you avoid relapse.

To help patients discover how exciting and fun sober life can be, we provide a wide range of in-person activities. We always encourage patients to participate in our outdoor adventure program where they can learn self-sufficiency and boost their self-esteem. Exploring nature will also help patients reactivate their bodies and build muscle, which is essential for people in recovery.

We also have a fully equipped music studio where patients can explore their creative side. Music therapy for addiction is an excellent form of expression, which can be valuable for exploring complex emotions during rehab. Therapists can monitor how patients express themselves through art. This sort of insight would be impossible in online therapy where sessions are only conducted through conference calls.

Conclusions Regarding the Disadvantages Of Online Therapy During Pennsylvania Rehab

Although online counseling can be useful for individuals without access to in-person therapy, attending rehab is the best option. We’ve covered the disadvantages of online therapy during Pennsylvania rehab, and we hope you understand the importance of face-to-face treatment. Online treatment can be a useful tool, but individuals with substance use disorder should look for experienced addiction psychiatrists. Contact us and we can provide you with the treatment you need to get better. Start your healing process today, and take your first steps to a sober and fulfilling life.

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Little creek lodge is such an amazing place for people who want to make a serious change in their life. I’ve watched my loved one grow immensely through his recovery with the help of the caring staff and engaging programs. Adventure trek is always popular on the agenda!

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