Magazine article Addiction Professional

The Case for Patients Staying Connected with Technology

Magazine article Addiction Professional

The Case for Patients Staying Connected with Technology

Article excerpt

Back in March, I interviewed Gosnold on Cape Cod's forward-thinking president and now emeritus CEO, Ray Tamasi, about how Gosnold patients were benefiting therapeutically from a creative imagery activity conducted on tablet computers. The topic got me to thinking about how substance use treatment programs traditionally have viewed the use of technology by their patients in the clinical setting, particularly at the residential level.

A cautious, conservative mindset still appears at times to predominate in the industry over whether to open access to online channels while a person resides in treatment. The arguments about restricting access to potential triggers or negative influences often win out over points about technology's potential benefits in the therapeutic environment. But it appears tougher than ever to deny that technology today has become close to an essential component to the heartbeat of daily life-a person's recovery status notwithstanding.

Applying technology In the treatment setting

In the Gosnold pilot project, the organization not only had to embrace online access in order for patients to use Expressive Digital Imagery (EDI) techniques, it also had to get comfortable with the idea of patients shooting photographs and using EDI to manipulate them.

Group discussions that ensued from this creative activity revealed more than that of typical group dialogue. Tamasi said that patients "were talking about the image in a way that was much more revealing and open than if they were just talking about themselves. …

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