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On-line Therapy Proves More Effective

Digital Therapy may be the wave of the future and for good reason…it can work better than traditional face to face sessions.

According to a new study from the University of Zurich, therapy sessions carried out online have become increasingly common in recent years.

Many sites, like Breakthrough.com and California Live Visit, have created a network of therapists who use instant messages, emails and even video chats to help their patients.

To investigate how effective this method was, researchers asked six therapists to treat 62 patients suffering from moderate depression.

After being randomly divided into two groups, one was treated online – through email or instant messenger – while the other received face-to-face therapy.

Both groups received eight sessions consisting of cognitive therapy techniques.

Speaking about the results, Professor Andreas Maercker said: ‘In both groups, the depression values fell significantly.’

Fifty-three per cent of those treated online were no longer diagnosed with depression, compared to 50 per cent of those who had face-to-face therapy.

During follow-up sessions, it was found that rates of recovery among those treated online were higher than the patients who saw counselors in person.

At the end of the study, 57 per cent of patients who underwent online treatment were free of depression, compared to 42 per cent of those who had traditional therapy.

Researchers put the online success down, in part, to the paper trail it generated. Patients were able to re-read the correspondence with their therapist, keeping it fresh in their mind, whereas those who had real-life therapy quickly forgot advice given.

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