Patients also have options to consult with the therapist in person; however, studies show that ICBT is as effective as face-to-face therapy. As this study demonstrates, online cognitive behavioral therapy services may be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. It can also offer additional benefits in terms of accessibility, convenience, etc. Especially for marginalized groups, it can open access across the state to service providers with lived experience of their specific challenges.
There is no difference in patient satisfaction depending on whether the therapy is online or in person, and for either of the two methods of receiving therapy, the results are better as a person attends more sessions. Since some may not seek therapy online because they have reservations about a virtual clinic environment, Landrum advises that they equip themselves. Therefore, if you are concerned that online therapy is not as effective, rest assured that you will have an equal opportunity to discuss problems and find solutions. However, another review of 19 studies found that online CBT was superior to placebo and was on the waiting list, and as effective as face-to-face therapy for the treatment of anxiety.
Other findings from the study show that treatment adherence to online cognitive behavioral therapy is 82%. In terms of accessibility, Landrum highlights how online therapy can make it easier to use accommodations, including live captions, easier access to schedule a session with an interpreter, and using the chat function in HIPAA compliant and video conferencing software to share resources. The duration of the online CBT sessions was between 8 and 15 weeks, which was considered a short period of time in therapy. The drawbacks of online therapy include ambient noise (especially since many therapists and clients are currently attending sessions from home), technological problems, and lack of non-verbal communication.
An additional advantage of online therapy is the client's ability to show the therapist their living environment. More research is needed on the effectiveness of online therapy for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other types of mental illness. However, the only study that directly compared the effectiveness of CBT online with face-to-face CBT found that both methods of therapy were equally effective in reducing depression. Researchers recommend that mental health professionals avoid online therapy for people with major depression.