June 7, 2012 Orlando Sentinel
We pay our bills by phone. We order our groceries by phone. A new study suggests that, for the depressed, getting psychotherapy might make sense too.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that therapy by phone encourages depressed patients to get help.
A course of 18 sessions was just as effective at improving symptoms as seeing a therapist for the same number of sessions in his or her office, the study reported.
But six months after the phone calls stopped, the study found that patients who got their psychotherapy in person were doing better at keeping depressive symptoms at bay than those who got phone therapy.
The study of 325 people suggests that “teletherapy”-little studied but widely practiced- may be a viable solution for certain depressed patients, especially for those whom a trip to a therapist office is not going to happen.