Internet-based CBT Effective for Treating Severe Depression

Posted on January 26, 2019

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There are many types of psychological therapies that are in practice currently but, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy that has much research proving the efficacy of this treatment modality. It is a short-term form of therapy targeted at changing people’s thought patterns in hopes of improving behavior and quality of life. It has been shown to be efficacious for the treatment of depression, anxiety and panic disorder, bipolar, substance use disorders and many other mental health conditions.

Despite its effectiveness, there exist barriers towards receiving CBT for treatment of mental health. Initially CBT requires the help of a psychologist to be with the individual in sessions, but in recent decades, there has been a surge of studies conducted showing the benefits of internet-based CBT (iCBT) for depression. With the advent of this form of administration, it could help overcome several treatment barriers such as geographical distance, the high cost of treatment, and the limited number of mental healthcare providers available. Furthermore, though many individuals are more open towards mental health issues, there still exist social stigma surrounding it and thus, this may be a helpful way for individuals suffering from depression to receive treatment without the fear of social stigma.

In a latest study conducted by Professor Lorenzo-Luaces, he found that iCBT was effective in treating not just mild and moderate depression, but severe depression as well. This would truly help a large population of individuals as he reports that close to 1 in 4 individuals meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. As iCBT can be administered via an online app platform, it greatly increases the accessibility to mental healthcare especially in this case, for individuals with depression, a disorder that has been affecting an increasing number of individuals over the years. However, this app should not be used in isolation especially for those with severe depression. It should work to complement the medications prescribed and works best as well with some guidance such as a 10-15-minute face-to-face check-in with a psychologist.

Through this study, Professor Lorenzo-Luaces concludes that the effectiveness of this self-guided iCBT is at least comparable to the findings of studies on antidepressants or face-to-face psychotherapy. With this new form of administering CBT treatment, the hope is for more individuals to get the help that they might need before their condition deteriorates. Additionally, perhaps with future research, iCBT would serve to be an effective form of treatment of other mental health conditions as well such as anxiety, bipolar and substance abuse disorders.

Category(s):Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Depression

Source material from Medical News Today