For people who can’t afford or don’t have access to face-to-face psychotherapy, a review of 14 studies on web-based psychotherapy indicates they may be able to get help online.
Dr. Charles Koransky of the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, Md., reported at the May 2017 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that various forms of online cognitive behavior therapy were effective for improving symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Cognitive behavior therapy is a form of psychotherapy that assists patients in identifying, understanding, and eventually altering thoughts and behaviors.
Therapy benefits continued for three to six months following the treatment periods.
These results are consistent with previous research showing the effectiveness of some internet-based psychotherapies.
For patients with more severe forms of depression, self-help treatments can pose a risk because they may not be effective and no actual therapist is available to directly assess any suicidal thinking and behavior.
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