Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, revolutionizing many industries. The healthcare industry is no exception, and perhaps the most important way of evolution is telehealth. Using technology, telehealth uses virtual care services to improve the lives of patients and provide remote access to much-needed support.
This modern-day type of therapy has helped many individuals address mental health issues and its many benefits over traditional therapy have led to surging popularity in the last few years. This article discusses the extent to which text therapy revolutionizes mental health care, how it benefits the industry, and how efficient it is.
How Technology Reshapes Health Care: Text Therapy
Technology modernizes the health care experience in many ways. From digital patient records to surgical technology, the industry has moved forward significantly in the past few years.
Clinic-based mental health services have a range of shortcomings that have made mental health support inaccessible to many individuals. Cost, limited working hours, proximity, and availability are only some of the hurdles that patients require to overcome in order to access clinic-based mental health therapy.
In telehealth, digital communication allows patients and health professionals to connect, exchange information, devise treatment plans, and track performance remotely. There is no longer the need to commute to a mental health therapist’s office or to give up mental therapy due to inaccessibility. Telehealth boasts convenience and accessibility that goes beyond the traditional experience.
Online text therapy is quickly becoming increasingly popular among individuals. Also known as messaging or chat therapy, this form of health care therapy can be asynchronous or synchronous. The first type is similar to sending an email or a text message to someone else – and waiting for them to reply at a convenient time. Synchronous text therapy is a live chat, where the patient texts the therapist and gets replies in real-time.
Both types of online text therapy are conducted in a confidential, secure chat room. This type of technology revolutionizes the mental health industry by allowing patients to access support whenever they need it. This removes the long waiting periods and makes health care more accessible.
Connecting with a mental health care therapist is no longer a lengthy process, and individuals can opt for any professional licensed in their state, therefore taking down the geographical barriers for people who live in remote areas.
How Does Text Therapy Benefit Mental Health?
Although still in its infancy, recent research has outlined the efficiency of text therapy when it comes to receiving mental health support. For instance, a study from 2022 concluded that messaging therapy may help to reduce suicidal thoughts.
Another research paper compared the efficiency of text therapy with traditional therapy in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and concluded that text therapy reduces symptoms in a similar way to traditional forms of therapy.
A study on depression and anxiety found that messaging psychotherapy has led to a remission of symptoms in patients aged 18 to 65.
Although more formal research is needed, preliminary results indicate that text therapy can be as effective as traditional therapy when it comes to symptom remission.
In practice, text therapy is used for treating a wide range of mental health illnesses and issues, including depression, stress, anxiety, relationship problems, and more. It can also successfully help with managing symptoms for a variety of illnesses.
Benefits of Text Therapy
Many individuals may be more likely to use telehealth at the expense of traditional health care services. Text therapy has been praised for the sense of privacy and anonymity that texting allows, as compared to seeing the therapist face-to-face.
A greater sense of privacy and anonymity also increases the confidence and ability to open up and be honest about one’s life challenges. In addition, text therapy is a suitable solution for individuals that suffer from disabilities impairing their hearing, speaking, or ability to process language.
Perhaps one of the main benefits of text therapy is that it reduces the pressure on people. It could be more effective than traditional therapy for individuals who find face-to-face interactions very stressful or suffer from social anxiety.
In addition to this, text therapy can be more affordable than traditional types. This means that more individuals now have access to mental health care as it is a cheaper option.
Telehealth also has a key diminishing impact on social stigma. Those affected by it can now talk to a therapist from the comfort of their home securely and privately.
Overall, text therapy manages to overcome geographical barriers, improve flexibility and convenience, and lead to improved access to care. Although it cannot treat severe illnesses or handle emergencies, text therapy remains a powerful tool that can complement standard, face-to-face therapy or other types of telehealth, such as video therapy.
Drawbacks of Online Text Therapy
Despite its many benefits, text therapy may not be for everyone. Text therapy is not suitable for addressing emergencies or very severe conditions. However, it is suitable for treating mild distress, anxiety or depression, dealing with life-changing events, and addressing relationship issues or problems with friends and family.
In addition to this, text messages may feel quite casual and impersonal. They do not convey body language or the tone of the message, which could decrease the efficiency of the therapy sessions. This could be a drawback for both parties, as the patient may have issues explaining their feelings, and the professional may find it difficult to understand the patient’s experiences, moods, or feelings without social cues.
Summary: The Future of Mental Health Care Is Here
Technology is disrupting the healthcare industry. Mental health, in particular, could be destigmatized by improving access via text therapy. As innovation in this field continues, further advancements could address some of the existing caveats and further improve efficiency and accessibility.
Nonetheless, this powerful modern-day solution uses technology to overcome many barriers in the healthcare industry, such as geographical boundaries, cost, and even social stigma associated with mental health care.