In a world where virtual communication has become the norm, it’s no surprise the field of mental health and addiction treatment has embraced technology. Teletherapy addiction treatment has grown remarkably since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a survey by the American Psychiatric Association, nearly four in 10 Americans have utilized telehealth services, with more than one in three expressing a preference for teletherapy. In this article, we’ll take a look at what teletherapy addiction treatment is, its benefits and why more and more people are choosing this form of treatment for their mental health.

What Is Teletherapy Addiction Treatment?

Teletherapy addiction treatment allows individuals to receive specialized therapy and support for their recovery journey in the comfort of their own home. Through the use of video calls, phone sessions and online platforms, patients can connect with professional therapists and other members of their care team without having to coordinate travel or disrupt a busy schedule.

Consistency is key when it comes to working on your recovery. Teletherapy ensures you can meet weekly with your care provider no matter the conditions, as well as saving everyone the time and money that comes with commuting, childcare and organizing time off work. This option can also bridge the gap for people living in underserved rural areas, providing access to quality mental health care that may not be readily available locally.

As an alternative that can cut costs and expand the sphere of access to online therapy for substance abuse, online therapy has continued to grow in popularity for patients across the United States.

How Does Teletherapy Work With Addiction Treatment?

Everyone’s experience accessing teletherapy will be different — your options depend on your insurance and virtual counseling options in your area. In most cases, you can either contact a therapist of your choice or a teletherapy provider. You may fill out an online form to identify your particular needs, then schedule an initial consultation, which may be a short call or a longer video session.

Virtual counseling addiction treatment sessions can be conducted through different mediums — from videoconferences to phone calls or text messages, depending on what you’re most comfortable with. Teletherapy providers usually offer different service tiers, with costs ranging from $65 per week to $300 per month. Many accept various insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

When considering teletherapy for addiction treatment, we recommend selecting a provider that’s compliant with HIPAA regulations. This means your therapist uses encryption and other secure measures to protect your protected health information, or PHI, from hackers. You can read more about a provider’s HIPAA compliance on their website or reach out to the office directly.

Is Teletherapy Effective?

While virtual therapy was already available before the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantine guidelines made it the predominant option for therapists and their patients. A national study reported that while psychologists performed 7.07% of their clinical work virtually before 2020, that figure increased to 85.53% over the course of the pandemic.

Today, even though in-person therapy is an option, teletherapy remains a popular alternative. Many people experience anxiety when visiting a therapist in person — also known as white coat syndrome. On the other hand, patients engaging in online therapy sessions can take comfort in their familiar surroundings, which may help them open up and share more during their sessions.

Using remote psychotherapy in recovery doesn’t have to be your only option. Some patients find it helpful to combine virtual and in-person sessions, especially for periodic check-ins that may not require a full trip.

Considerations and Challenges

Online therapy for substance abuse can be a valuable option. Research shows it can be as effective as in-person therapy, with no significant disparities in patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes. Still, recovery is an individualized process, and it’s important to consider what may not work for you as well as what will.

For instance, to participate in teletherapy, you’ll need a reliable internet connection. Sessions can be conducted over the phone, but most online therapists make use of Zoom or a provider-specific video platform. Although plenty of virtual counseling services work with clients across the country, some telehealth services require you to reside in the same state. And not every treatment center is equipped for online therapy — so before you narrow down your options, make sure the facility you’re looking at offers telehealth services.

Is Teletherapy or Online Therapy Substance Abuse Help for Me?

Whether you’re facing challenges related to addiction or simply looking for support, teletherapy offers a convenient and accessible option to guide you on your journey toward recovery. Having online access to a therapist can give you a support system to contact whenever you need it, especially in times of crisis.

If you’re not sure where to begin in your search for virtual counseling for addiction, a trained professional can help you examine your options. Speak to your primary care provider or another member of your care team about pursuing therapy and how to find the right telehealth provider for you.

Though everyone’s situation is different, if you’re struggling with detox or otherwise need medical intervention, in-person treatment is invaluable. We encourage you to seek immediate professional assistance if your addiction treatment is in its early stages, you’re experiencing withdrawal or you have sudden cravings.

Virtual Support, Real Results

If you’re seeking online therapy for substance abuse, Sunlight Recovery is here to support you. Our team of dedicated therapists is ready to work with you on your path to recovery.

When you reach out to us, you’ll connect with a compassionate, experienced professional who’ll get to know you and your condition. Together you’ll create a tailored plan to address your unique needs, developing coping strategies and building support networks to address problems as they arise.

Your journey to a better life starts here. Contact Sunlight Recovery today to learn more about how we can help.