Web-based e-therapy and motivation for change among rural Appalachians with substance use and co-occurring disorders

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Harden, Vickie Lynn
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Middle Tennessee State University
E-therapy is a novel approach to addressing the complex conditions of substance use disorders and mental illness. As part of the continuum of web-based recovery support services, the My Recovery program initiated an e-therapy component. This program was designed to address behavioral health access issues in rural Tennessee, specifically the Upper Cumberland region of Central Appalachia. The target population for this study was adults residing in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee who participated in
e-therapy to address substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness.
This program evaluation utilized a qualitative inquiry approach to delve into the experiences of individuals in treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness. Through an analysis of transcripts of e-therapy sessions, the evaluation addressed the key research question: How is motivation for change described and experienced among people who are in recovery from addiction and co-occurring disorders when using a web-based intervention?
Twenty-one individuals participated in the My Recovery e-therapy program. A total of 88 transcripts were analyzed using the theoretical framework of motivational interviewing and the transtheoretical model of behavior change.
The experiences of the participants defined the struggles of recovery, and the daily vigilance to stay sober while dealing with mental health issues. This study illuminated these struggles through the lens of motivational for change.
Co-occurring disorders, E-therapy, Mental illness, Recovery, Substance use, Web-based therapy