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Because of coronavirus, we are having to move a lot of things online. Whether it be a family quiz night, or a work conference call – we are all utilising different technology even more than before.

When this comes to accessing mental health support however, some held reservations about moving this online. This could’ve been due to confidentiality concerns, as well as worrying it wouldn’t work as effectively due to lack of connection with the therapist.

A new study has shown that therapy delivered electronically can actually be more effective than therapy delivered face to face*. This study by McMaster University found that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered via video-conferencing, email and texting improved patient’s symptoms more successfully than the face to face comparison.

They also found that there was no difference in the level of satisfaction between the two delivery methods. This shows people were just as happy have therapy sessions delivered online, as having it face to face.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

CBT is a popular psychotherapy that is used to treat mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. However, there can be barriers to accessing CBT. Long waiting times, the expense and no locally accessible services can all limit the availability of treatment.

These barriers can be removed through online therapy.

Why go online?
  • Accessible for people with physical limitations
  • An easier option for people living in remote areas, breaking the barriers of driving long distances / lack of public transport
  • It can be convenient, by being able to schedule therapy sessions for times most convenient for you

Although this study (*) started before the current COVID-19 pandemic, the results are applicable to our current situation. By looking at the results of this study, it reassures us that online therapy can be as effective as face-to-face, whilst reducing other barriers to accessing treatment.

As face to face sessions resume, we are reminded that online sessions are there and are effective, should we need them due to other constraints.

At The Eaves, many of our therapists are offering online therapy sessions as well as face to face sessions. This can give you the chance to access mental health support in different ways, depending on what suits you best. If you are looking for support, please call the referrals team on 01483 917000 and they will be happy to source a suitable therapist for you based on your requirements.

References:

Luo, C., Sanger, N., Singhal, N., Pattrick, K., Shams, I., Shahid, H., … & Puckering, M. (2020). A comparison of electronically-delivered and face to face cognitive behavioural therapies in depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine, 100442.