The proliferation of virtual counseling and therapy is yet another benefit of digital transformation that has swept the world over the last decade. Questions surrounding its effectiveness were posed at the onset, but data collected during the COVID-19 lockdowns put an end to any uncertainty. Online treatment has proven to be as effective as in-person sessions for behavioral health therapy. But does this apply to all types of behavioral health disorders? More apt to your query, does gambling treatment work when done online? There is no reason for it to be any different than other behavioral health disorders. Furthermore, when examining a variety of factors, you may find that online rehab may be preferred over a local therapist’s chaise lounge. Here’s why.
7 Reasons Why Virtual Treatment for Gambling Disorder May Be the Most Effective Option for You
Relative Anonymity Breaks Down Barriers to Entry
Embarrassment, concern over reputation, shame, and stigma – these are all things that keep problem gamblers from seeking help. There’s something far more comforting in the relative anonymity of online therapy. You won’t run into anyone you know as you enter or leave a therapist’s office or clinic. It’s just you and them in a safe and secure digital environment.
Millions of Americans go without mental health help due to limited access. Think we’re exaggerating? Drop your finger anywhere on a U.S. map and you’ll find alarming state-by-state statistics. For example, 30% of all Floridians (6.4 million people) live in a community that does not have adequate access to mental health professionals. It’s even worse in Texas, as an estimated 53% of all Texans (15.18 million people) go without help for the same reason. When you consider that approximately 2% of Americans struggle with gambling disorder, and weigh in the barriers to access for all 50 states, it’s no exaggeration to state that hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of problem gamblers would have nowhere to turn to if it weren’t for online therapy.
Direct Access to Gambling Disorder Specialists
What are the odds of finding a behavioral health therapist near your home, who specializes in gambling disorder? Probably nil, unless you’re located in states such as Nevada. Scratch that – as it turns out 80% of Nevada residents don’t have adequate access to general mental health professionals, much less gambling disorder specialists. By going online, you can directly connect to a therapist who specializes in gambling disorder treatment. The more disorder-specific the treatment, the greater the likelihood of success (all else equal).
Generally More Affordable
Gambling therapy can’t work if you can’t attend regular sessions. Unfortunately, cost often keeps individuals from putting in the required work at a local treatment center. Virtual therapy however, is generally more affordable. Online therapist overhead is typically lower, and those savings are often passed down to the patient. Moreover, you don’t have to spend money to commute to/from a clinic, nor miss work to accommodate therapist availability during business hours. In addition, you can take advantage of more affordable (compared to individual sessions) online support groups for gambling addiction. You may also qualify for gambling disorder coverage via your insurance, which lowers the overall cost.
Greater Frequency (as needed)
This carries over from above. Greater economic and geographic access suggests that you can attend as many sessions as you desire or require. This is often not viable when relying upon in-person treatment.
Online gambling treatment can be done while on vacation, when you’re under the weather, when the weather makes it impossible to leave your home, and a variety of other scenarios that cannot be matched by in-person sessions. There is no denying that online treatment is far more flexible than the traditional alternative.
If you’re a “recovering” gambling addict, and suddenly feel the urge to gamble, you don’t have the luxury of waiting days or even weeks to see the in-person therapist who initially treated you. With virtual therapy, you can talk to someone within the same day, maybe even right away. Read more on how online therapy is an integral part of a gambling relapse prevention plan.
Does gambling treatment work when done online? Absolutely, and when considering everything above it may be more effective for you than traditional in-person therapy. Find out how effective it can be by calling or emailing Kindbridge Behavioral Health Services today.