Is internet (online) based therapy effective for depression? 

Online treatments can be helpful for some people in treating depression. Using a computer or smartphone to connect to a live clinician who is a licensed mental health professional can be helpful for some people. But it is important to tell your primary doctor or local mental health professional so they can be aware all the ways you are accessing treatment. There are many self directed online programs or apps that claim to help treat depression. Some of them may make claims that are not true and it is important to check with your clinical team before starting. Sometimes programs that have been shown to be effective in clinical studies end up not being as effective for people when offered in the real world [1].  Thus before starting any – it is best to talk to your primary care doctor of mental health clinician as some of these programs may be helpful but others may not be.

1. Gilbody S, Littlewood E, Hewitt C, Brierley G, Tharmanathan P, Araya R, Barkham M, Bower P, Cooper C, Gask L, Kessler D. (2015) Computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) as treatment for depression in primary care (REEACT trial): large scale pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 351:h5627.

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