Online psychological therapy is highly effective and should be considered a viable alternative to treating people with depression, say the authors of a new study.
Analysis of nearly a dozen international studies found the use of self-guided internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) was associated with “significantly” lower depressive symptoms.
The statistics show one in five Australians experience mental illness each year, the most common disorders being anxiety and depression, yet 70 per cent do not seek treatment. This is because of stigma, cost and availability.
Digital therapy programs, like MoodGYM, enable users to engage with evidence-based mental health programs by simply accessing their computer, tablet of Smartphone.
Many digital programs focus on helping to modify the way people think about the thoughts they have.
Prof Christensen says this can be a “powerful” intervention particularly when somebody first starts experiencing symptoms of depression.
“Just because you think particular things doesn’t mean they are true,” she said.
“As a lot of girls do, they actually think they really are unattractive and nobody would really find them attractive or want to spend time with them, that’s a pretty depressive thought and makes sense you don’t feel so good.”
Read more: Online treatments reduce depression: study
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