Interapy

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anthony

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Interapy is the name given for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy via the Internet. It should not be confused with Computerised Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CCBT), as they're vastly different concepts. CCBT is completely computerised, where Interapy requires human contact with a psychotherapist, and instead uses the Internet as a medium to express the repetitive information from client to client, in conjunction with performing assigned task electronically.

Use

Interapy has been trialled with significant success across a broad range of mental health areas, including alcoholism, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, moderate depression, sexual disorders and more. Its use is fundamentally still being tested.

Efficacy

Time saved on therapy costs through time per client can range from 0% - 95%, depending on the level of interaction and mediums used. If on-line video is used, then there is a 0% time and effort saving to the therapist, though if therapy intervention only is required at key points where feedback is essential, then savings can be extremely efficient, up to 95%. Saying this, such high savings in physicians time have only been attributed to lesser diagnosis than the complexity of PTSD, and it is doubtful that such savings around 95% could be achieve with the complex nature that is PTSD. If savings estimate at 50%, then that is significant for treatment effort.

Savings can be made in other areas which correlate directly to a significant saving for the patient, in that therapists can work from home, smaller, combined locations, which reduce overheads, thus the end cost upon the patient is minimised. If more patients are being seen, then that cost can be reflected back in a saving to the customer.

Communication

When Interapy was initially conceptualised, there was doubt that the patient / client relationship could be equivalent of that within a face-to-face environment. From the studies performed since 2000, it is extremely clear that there is no negative impact on this relationship, if anything, there are more positive results due to the anonymity a patient has when expressing themselves from behind a computer screen. The more severe the patient, the better results with the use of anonymity. It is extremely common with therapy that patients tend to keep some specifics to themselves, though give more in a written context when set specific written assignments.

Another positive facet, by default, that Interapy brings to the table is that needed pause within communication to allow processing, without necessarily having to wait excessive time between appointments, as often face-to-face therapy entails. A task is completed one day, a reply the next, systematically inducing a time lag for processing and thought across both the patient and therapist, often providing well constructed and thought provoked responses. Feelings just don't come so readily, especially emotion identification, within a therapy session; time lag can provide adequate duration for self analysis and a truer question to response ratio.

Fundamental Process

The basic Interapy process comprises three primary stages, based on the fundamental foundation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), being:
  1. Self Confrontation: Stimulate the patient to confront the traumatic event.
  2. Cognitive Reappraisal: Change views and perceptions of the event.
  3. Sharing & Farewell: To place the event elsewhere without the burden.
This basic CBT structure works effectively for those suffering at the lesser spectrum of anxiety and depression, as studies have demonstrated through their consistent use of screening and rejecting those more serious patients from partaking. Examples are typically veterans and those with complex trauma.

interapy.jpg


Safe Guards

With adaptation, the process can fundamentally work well to cater those more serious cases, because risk is mitigated regardless whether within an office environment or across the web. There is no stopping a patient who walks out mid / end session, jumps in their car and kills themself, or another, as they're going to do it regardless the intervention, if that is what they have chosen. Personal contracts and current methods to help a client justify or self commit to not performing such acts have zero change whether made via on-line or in person. The burden still resides upon the individual as to whether they commit to such self contracts or take their life.

The introduction process can review current location, available emergency resources, methods, processes in extreme distress, National lifeline crisis counsellors and so forth. These services are there and used daily, and there is little to be gained by rejecting the more severe cases from on-line therapy, when if they are engaging help, then any help is better than no help. It is better they are seeking help than refusal to see a therapist face-to-face.
 
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