How to Decide if Telehealth or In-Person Treatment Is Right for You

How to Decide if Telehealth or In-Person Treatment Is Right for You

Today, everything is changing rapidly. Technology is growing bigger and stronger. The world around you may even seem different than it was before the pandemic. Just as your job may have changed from office to remote work, healthcare is also moving from the office to the home. If you are in search of the right mental health care, there are two different options today that you can choose: telehealth or in-person treatment.

Before 2020 it was rare to find a therapist or doctor who would treat you via the computer or by phone. Most times you would have to attend a therapy session in the office or clinic. Nowadays it is common to be treated through a Zoom call. Healthcare insurance agencies are even beginning to cover telehealth. It is an alternative that is becoming increasingly popular in a post-pandemic world. But what if telehealth does not work for you? Are there other options out there for you to be treated in person?

What Is Telehealth?

Also referred to as telemental health, telehealth is the use of video conferencing with your doctor or therapist. It is a virtual way of providing mental health services. For some, the option of being able to get the treatment they need through a video call is convenient. However, there are some things to consider before deciding if telehealth is right for you. If you are currently in a treatment program via telehealth but are considering alternative options for care, there are key factors to keep in mind.

The Advantages of Telehealth vs. In-Person Treatment

There are several advantages of telehealth that make this an attractive option to many. If you live a busy lifestyle or need an appointment outside of a clinic, this could be an excellent way to get care. Here are some other benefits of telehealth:

  • Convenience: Work, childcare, and extracurricular activities can affect your ability to attend in-person treatment sessions. Telehealth, on the other hand, can be done anywhere and at a time that is most convenient for you.
  • Outreach: For those who live in remote areas, access to quality healthcare can be challenging. Telehealth can break the barrier. Now, patients don’t necessarily have to be seen by someone in their area for care.
  • Fewer restrictions: Being home during therapy can provide a safe space for those who may not be comfortable with traditional mental health services.
  • Technology: As technology continues to advance, clients and therapists are moving towards telehealth altogether.

Moreover, telehealth can give therapists an insight into their clients’ lives. They can get a sense of where they live or what they choose to include in their sessions. Many therapist offices are transitioning to telehealth. For some, it is an easier way to connect with clients and be sure that appointments are kept.

The Disadvantages of Telehealth vs. In-Person Treatment

As convenient and unrestrictive as telehealth is, it does come with its disadvantages. Compared to in-person treatment, telehealth can’t always provide you with the full service of therapy. Additional disadvantages and drawbacks of telehealth include:

Technology Access

As advanced as technology is, we can’t always guarantee it will work.

  • Communication could be hindered if your connection or equipment is unequipped for video calls
  • Privacy concerns are a part of websites including those used to host therapy sessions
  • Access to a choppy internet connection, especially in rural areas, can pose problems for clients and therapists trying to connect with one another

The Cost

Telehealth can prove to be costly if you are not already equipped with the right technology.

  • Without the right camera, phone, or computer system connecting with a mental health expert can be difficult.
  • Having the budget to purchase or upgrade technology can be a challenge as well

Insurance Compliance

Some health insurances don’t cover telehealth.

  • You are responsible for checking what your plan covers
  • Paying a copayment or out-of-pocket to use telehealth can be a costly expense

In-Person Treatment Programs

n-person treatment programs are a traditional yet effective way of receiving care that can provide you with the help you need. This is especially true if telehealth fails or proves to be too costly to continue. In-person treatment programs are a good way of connecting with your therapist. Additionally, if you are in group therapy, you can have a physical and emotional connection to your peers. This can be beneficial to your mental health.

Alter Wellness Care offers in-person outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs (PHP). You have the option to join group therapy sessions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Moreover, there are support groups and counseling groups that treat different conditions and disorders. Professional treatment programs offer you the opportunity to learn skills you may not be able to learn via telehealth.

In-person treatment programs continue to be beneficial to many. While telehealth may be a good option for some, in-person treatment programs can provide you with a safe space. This can help you communicate and connect with others. Unlike telehealth, in-person treatment does not run the risk of privacy issues. It is also more likely to be covered by insurance plans.

Remember, you are always in control of your healthcare. Do your research and educate yourself on the various types of treatment programs that will work for you. There is no single way to better mental health. Alter Wellness Care will be there for you when you need better care.

The advantages of outpatient programs offered by Alter Wellness Care truly make a difference in the lives of those we treat. Our mission is to treat adults who experience mental health disorders and conditions and lead them to live healthier and happier lives. The team here at Alter Wellness Care is ready to welcome you into a program that works best for you. We have resources and tools for you to get started on a journey to better mental health. Give our clinic a call at (866) 311-3510 to learn more about our services. We can answer your questions and educate you on our group programs such as CBT and DBT. You deserve care that works, and we can help.

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