424 Effectiveness of Teletherapy

Research by Mohr, David, Ho, Joyce, Duffecy, Jenna, Reifler, Douglas, Sokol, Lesile, Burns, Nichelle, Jin, Ling, Siddique, Juned (2012)

Written by Robin N. Fatovic B.S.

Therapy can be helpful in handling the financial, health-related, and daily stresses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to social distancing guidelines, in-person therapy may be unsafe. Therefore, teletherapy, which is listening and seeing the therapist over electronic means, is an option. But, is it as effective as in-person therapy?

In 2012, researchers compared the differences between 325 clients with major depressive disorder who received eighteen 45-minute sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy delivered either by teletherapy or in-person therapy.

Results? Only 21% of teletherapy clients vs. 33% in-person clients dropped out of therapy. In-person therapy averaged 13, but teletherapy 15of 18sessions. Patients in both groups showed significant decrease in depressive symptoms. There was no significant difference between the effectiveness of these different modes of therapy. Both groups continued to experience less depression after 6 months. However, face-to-face therapy clients were significantly less depressed.

If you experience distress, especially during these times, consider engaging in teletherapy. It is just as effective as face-to-face therapy. For prolonged, improved results, consider switching to face-to-face therapy when social distancing restrictions end.


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