In the early 2000s, the first computerized treatment plans were developed to assist in treating specific phobias and panic disorders . Since these early interventions, the field of digital therapeutics has emerged, treating numerous mental health conditions . Apps and technological interventions serve to better assist clients and therapists as an adjunct to therapy. These interventions have been shown to significantly improve outcomes in clients with anxiety disorders . In the United States, over 40 million adults have an anxiety disorder; this is 19.1% of the overall population . With the increasing rates of diagnosed anxiety disorders, it is beneficial to incorporate these technological interventions that can help clients manage associated symptoms, improve overall moods, and receive greater benefits from therapy. Adhere.ly offers different technological treatment interventions that are practiced between therapy sessions to serve as an adjunct to therapy. These aim to improve mental health outcomes in clients. This blog will better explore these treatment plans and how they improve outcomes for individuals battling anxiety disorders.
How to use these treatment plans
A series of randomized controlled trials primarily introduced the benefits of computerized technology in cognitive behavioral therapy. These interventions were composed of a series of modules or lessons following a similar approach to face-to-face therapy and included assignments for individuals to complete exercises between therapy sessions . These modules and assignments included psychoeducation relating to managing anxiety disorders through symptom management, emotional processing, and how to utilize skills to change maladaptive thoughts related to anxiety disorders. Most of these programs included reflections on emotional self-monitoring, behavioral experiments, and thought-challenging activities. Some intervention programs were self-completed, but most were accompanied by therapist support, through a secure database utilizing text-messaging, emailing, and/or calling services .
Within recent years, as smartphone use has substantially increased, there has been an influx in mental health apps that aim to reduce anxiety. However, having a therapist that can monitor client progress and assign in-between session activities has been proven to substantially increase mental health outcomes . Adhere.ly offers numerous pre-programmed, between session activities that can be used to treat anxiety and improve mental health outcomes in clients. Adhere.ly also includes exercises to support cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and behavioral activation. These activities can be completed during and between sessions, further benefiting client outcomes.
How do these new technologies benefit therapists and clients?
Accessibility is an important benefit of utilizing new technologies. Some clients struggling with anxiety disorders may be reluctant to seek treatment. In addition, they may benefit from technology-supported between session activities in adjunct with therapy to continuously help treat their anxiety while benefiting from therapist support. These technological interventions open up new modes of assessment and increase accessibility for clients. Studies have found that when supported by a therapist, these technological interventions can be as effective as in-person treatments . In addition, therapists and clients can continuously manage and reflect on anxiety symptoms through the completion of in-between session activities. Further, it can better meet the needs of underserved populations, as many individuals may find computerized technologies more personally accessible for themselves . Supporting digital treatment and increasing therapist technology can greatly increase access to mental health care and provide better results for clients struggling with anxiety . These interventions have been proven to decrease overall anxiety levels in adults in the U.S. . Adhere.ly uses these automated and pre-programmed activities during and in between and during sessions to help manage anxiety, save therapist time, and improve overall client experience and success in within client therapy.
With evidently rising rates of anxiety among U.S. adults, it is extremely important to utilize technological resources. In addition to therapy, these technological interventions provide tremendous success in client outcomes, especially within the treatment of anxiety disorders. By utilizing technology in treatment plans, specifically during and between therapy sessions, therapists can help clients improve skills for symptom management, emotional processing, and challenging unhelpful thoughts, which can yield better mental health outcomes in clients with anxiety disorders. Adhere.ly can help facilitate this process for mental health therapists. Click the button below to try Adhere.ly for free today!
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 Anxiety Disorders. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Revised 2017. Available from: Here
 Goodwin, R., Weinberger, A., Kim, J., Melody, W., Galea, S. Trends in anxiety among adults in the United States, 2008–2018: Rapid increases among young adults. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2020. 130:441-446. Available from: Here
 Fairburn CG., & Patel V. The impact of digital technology on psychological treatments and their dissemination. Behavioral Responsive Therapy. 2017. 88:19-25. Available from: Here