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Unread April 4th, 2011, 12:31 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Default Is therapist contact necessary for treating anxiety and depression?

Two recent articles have reviewed a variety of technologically-assisted self-help and minimal-contact therapies for anxiety and depression and for substance abuse. Overall, they conclude that there is evidence that technologically-assisted treatments can be helpful for individuals seeking help with anxiety and depression. However, some degree or therapist contact seems to be useful with less motivated clients and more severe disorders.

Personally, I'd expect a well-designed technologically-assisted treatment package (or a good self-help book) to be helpful to motivated individuals who follow-through persistently on applying the material in daily life. Unfortunately, many individuals in need of help aren't very good at following through persistently, especially when the changes they need to make are scary or uncomfortable. One could design a technologically-assisted treatment that monitors the extent to which participants follow-through and addresses non-compliance, but I think that live therapists will have a lot to contribute for the foreseeable future.
Newman, M. G., Szkodny, L. E., Llera, S. J., & Przeworski, A. (2011). A review of technologically-assisted self-help and minimal-contact therapist for anxiety and depression: is human contact necessary for therapeutic efficacy? [i]Clinical Psychology Review[i], 31, 89-103.

Newman, M. G.; Szkodny, L. E.; Llera, S. J.; Przeworski, A. (2011). A review of technology-assisted self-help and minimal contact therapies for drug and alcohol abuse and smoking addiction: Is human contact necessary for therapeutic efficacy? Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 178-186.
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