Internet-Delivered Psychological Treatments

Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2016;12:157-79. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093006. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Abstract

During the past 15 years, much progress has been made in developing and testing Internet-delivered psychological treatments. In particular, therapist-guided Internet treatments have been found to be effective for a wide range of psychiatric and somatic conditions in well over 100 controlled trials. These treatments require (a) a secure web platform, (b) robust assessment procedures, (c) treatment contents that can be text based or offered in other formats, and (d) a therapist role that differs from that in face-to-face therapy. Studies suggest that guided Internet treatments can be as effective as face-to-face treatments, lead to sustained improvements, work in clinically representative conditions, and probably are cost-effective. Despite these research findings, Internet treatment is not yet disseminated in most places, and clinical psychologists should consider using modern information technology and evidence-based treatment programs as a complement to their other services, even though there will always be clients for whom face-to-face treatment is the best option.

Keywords: Internet treatment; anxiety; mood disorders; somatic disorders; therapist guidance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / standards
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / standards