Tele-counseling aids depression treatment

Published: August, 2012

For people who are battling depression, "talk therapy" can be very helpful. But due to the inconvenience, cost, and the time required, many people cut the treatment short. Now, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that delivering a form of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by telephone may keep people in treatment long enough for it to have an impact.

CBT teaches people to recognize and respond to negative thinking more effectively. In the study, 325 people were offered CBT. Half received 18 sessions of CBT by phone; the remainder received therapy in person. Researchers found that telephone CBT worked just as well as face-to-face meetings for reducing symptoms of depression. However, six months after the sessions ended, people who completed CBT in person were less depressed than those who obtained help by telephone.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »