The Effectiveness of Online Counseling
The effects of online psychotherapy outlasted the results of face-to-face counseling
A University of Zurich study divided a group of 62 patients in half and found that depression was eased in 53 percent of those given online therapy, compared to 50 percent who had in-person counseling. Three months after completing the study, 57 percent of online patients showed no signs of depression compared to 42 percent with conventional therapy.— Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013
Online therapy significantly lowered the number of hospital visits among veterans.
In a four-year Johns Hopkins study that included close to 100,000 veterans, the number of days that patients were hospitalized dropped by 25 percent if they chose online counseling. This is slightly higher than the number of hospital visits experienced by patients who used face-to-face counseling.— Psychiatric Services, April 2012
Five hundred patients assigned to either live video counseling or in-person care showed equal rates of recovery.
A Canadian study shows that online therapy delivers the same satisfaction at slightly less the cost.
Patients in Ontario, Canada were assigned to face-to-face or live video counseling and experienced statistically the same clinical outcome and level of patient satisfaction. The only difference was that the cost of providing the online service was 10% less per patient.— American Psychiatric Association, 2007
Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy helped reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder with effects that lasted until well after the treatment had ended.
Online therapy may be an efficient way to provide PTSD treatment to a large group of people.
A pilot study compared the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy and in-person supportive therapy in 45 Defense service members suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the September 11th attack. After eight weeks those receiving online therapy showed greater improvement. Six months after their first meeting those who had received online therapy continued to show improvement, in direct contrast to the in-person group.— American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2007