Telephone Therapy – A Great Idea That Works
If you are of a certain generation, enthusiasm for cell phones may have lost some of its initial luster. After embracing all the obvious conveniences they provide, you may still be adjusting to the constant communication lifestyles they have wrought.
Maybe you struggle when young people bring cell phones to the dinner table or have had to work through where, on the scale of impoliteness, texting during a face to face conversation ranks. If the ubiquitousness of cell phones rankles you at all, I want to encourage you that some of that constant connection is serving a really wonderful purpose.
It’s called telephonic support and it could be a huge breakthrough in terms of drug rehab.
A therapy blog site recently reported on a study comparing the efficacy of traditional face to face follow-up counseling versus phone-based support once a patient completes drug rehab. There is no question that continued support is vital to avoiding relapses, but for some, the dollars just aren’t there to continue with on-site individual or group counseling.
Job constraints may make it tough to get to sessions. Transportation could be an obstacle. Say hello to telephonic support.
Researchers at UCLA tracked over 300 people who had successfully completed a drug rehab program. Individuals were assigned either standard follow-up counseling or telephonic support. Four separate telephone therapy methods were employed.
The study monitored sobriety among members of both groups after several months and again at the end of one year. At both junctures, those individuals who were being treated over the phone showed better results regardless of what type of phone therapy they were getting.
It isn’t clear if people were more faithful to maintain telephone appointments or exactly why the telephone support worked best. The great news is that it did and it is something to celebrate.
Next time you feel irritated because someone’s phone rings during church or a movie, remember that along with new social challenges, the ever-present phone is also full of new possibilities.