Virtual Versus In-Person Treatment

With the rise of virtual mental health treatment, many are evaluating which is more beneficial — virtual or in-person treatment. Both have their benefits, but after the past two years of experiencing a global pandemic, many are becoming more inclined to prefer virtual treatment. Not only can clients obtain quality mental health care this way, but telehealth is generally more convenient for most. Many are still skeptical of virtual mental health treatment, questioning its effectiveness in properly treating people for addiction, substance use disorder (SUD), and any number of other mental disorders. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March of 2020, many facilities were scrambling to find a way to continue offering their clients treatment through a virtual platform. The Lakehouse Recovery Center was one of those facilities, but with perseverance, we created a successful virtual program and have been able to continue offering clients virtual care ever since. Even with virtual treatment, the culture at the Lakehouse continues to be apparent. Virtual and in-person treatment may have pros and cons, but we have found each can be effective in helping people on their path to recovery. 

Benefits of In-Person Treatment 

There are no doubts about the benefits of in-person treatment. After all, in-person treatment has been the standard for decades. Nowadays, we may even refer to in-person treatment as “traditional therapy.” It is odd to think that the days of in-person treatment may be soon outdated, but there will remain certain benefits of in-person treatment. For example, in-person treatment makes analyzing nonverbal communication more effective. Analyzing someone’s mannerisms and nonverbal responses can be more difficult over a computer screen. Nonverbal communication can be very telling and help therapists better understand their client’s needs. 

Another benefit of in-person treatment is the neutral ground it offers clients. Many may not have a home environment conducive to mental health. They may fear someone at home will listen in on their therapy sessions, or that they cannot speak freely and properly heal in such a toxic environment. Whatever the reason, the in-person treatment allows clients to leave home and seek treatment in a safe space. Within this safe space, they can receive intense care and support. Even with these benefits in mind, there are a few drawbacks to in-person treatment. 

What Are the Cons of In-person Treatment? 

The main con of in-person treatment is accessibility. We see this frequently with single parents. Due to a lack of child care or inability to take time off from work, many refrain from seeking treatment. In-person treatment becomes an ordeal for people in these situations. It can also be harder to make an appointment for in-person treatment. Clients in need of treatment may end up on a waiting list, and their mental health may continue to deteriorate during this time. 

In-person treatment can also be anxiety-inducing for many. The thought of sharing what may very well be someone’s darkest thoughts with a stranger is a justifiable cause for some anxiety. Being able to speak with someone from the comfort of one’s own home reduces this anxiety. There is no right or wrong way to seek treatment, whether it be in-person or virtual. Seeking treatment in a way that is more conducive to improving one’s mental health should be the priority. 

Pros and Cons of Virtual Treatment 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) claims there are many benefits of telehealth for both clients and providers. For many clients, convenience is the biggest benefit of telehealth treatment. Realistically, telehealth allows people to connect with a therapist from anywhere at any time. It makes seeking treatment less of an ordeal. Mental health care becomes more accessible, reduces social anxiety, and even reduces stigma.

In light of these benefits, the virtual treatment also comes with its fair share of cons. For starters, successful telehealth treatment is reliant on a good internet connection. Therapists typically experience limits in the care they offer, similar to how it is more difficult to observe nonverbal behavior virtually. Clients may also have a harder time making a connection. SAMHSA understands the importance of staying connected and offers virtual recovery resources clients can use. These resources help to increase virtual support when seeking recovery for mental and substance use disorders. 

Online Treatment at the Lakehouse 

If an individual is wary of seeking addiction or mental health treatment online, they can reach out to the Lakehouse today. Through many online programs, we have been able to offer virtual treatment to clients across the state. It is completely normal to question the effectiveness of virtual treatment, but until an individual can give it a try, they will never know how much it may be able to help them. 

Whatever someone’s struggle is, it is important to know that no one has to go through it alone. The Lakehouse is a haven for anyone suffering from alcohol, drug dependency, and other co-occurring mental disorders. Our virtual treatment program offers the skills needed to get sober and stay sober outside of treatment. Call us to start on the path to recovery today. 

Virtual and in-personal therapy and treatment both have their pros and cons. On one hand, virtual therapy offers more access to quality mental health care, which we can access from the comfort of our own homes. However, in-person treatment can offer a safe and neutral ground for clients whose home life is not conducive to recovery or mental health. During the pandemic, virtual mental health care was the only way for people to continue their paths to recovery and wellness. Now people have more options. The ability to seek in-person or virtual treatment is allowing clients to feel more empowered in their treatment. The question you need to ask yourself is which method is more effective for you. Reach out to The Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707 to seek treatment today. Whether you prefer virtual or in-person care, we can start you on your path to recovery.