Does Psychotherapy via the Internet Work

Posted on August 16, 2013

For the first time, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich have studied whether online psychotherapy and conventional face-to-face therapy are equally effective in experiments. Based on earlier studies, the Zurich team assumed that the two forms of therapy were on a par. Not only was their theory confirmed, the results for online therapy even exceeded their expectations.

Six therapists treated 62 patients, the majority of whom were suffering from moderate depression. The patients were divided into two equal groups at random and assigned to one of the therapeutic forms.

For both patient groups, the degree of satisfaction with the treatment and therapists was more or less equally high. 96 percent of the patients given online therapy and 91 percent of the recipients of conventional treatment rated the contact with their therapist as “personal”. In the case of online therapy, the patients tended to use the therapy contacts and subsequent homework very intensively to progress personally. For instance, they indicated that they had re-read the correspondence with their therapist from time to time. “In the medium term, online psychotherapy even yields better results. Our study is evidence that psychotherapeutic services on the internet are an effective supplement to therapeutic care,” concludes Maercker.

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Source material from TriCity Psychology


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