Benefits found in long-distance psychotherapy

( Boston , MA ) It may seem like a basic necessity of any treatment that the patient and the doctor be in the same room—especially in the case of the very personal process of psychotherapy. But as the January issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter reports, studies are showing that psychotherapy can be effective even when the doctor is "seeing" the patient through phone calls or video.

One study done on veterans in Maryland , for example, found that patients who used computer video to make contact with their psychiatrist were just as satisfied with therapy as those who had more traditional sessions. Another study found that symptoms improved in depressed patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy by phone.

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