The key points arising from this findings are:
- Psychotherapy is preferred over anti-depressant medication by depressed patients
- Patients are more likely to stick with the therapy if it is delivered by phone, more people dropped out in the face-to-face
- In the sample group the face to face patients fared better after 6 months although the reasons for this is that the harder to treat types that drop out of face-to-face session maintain telephone therapy
- In the future, phone counselling could be combined with face-to- face, for example persons who can’t for whatever reason get to face-to-face sessions could begin with phone counselling and then graduate to face-to-face sessions
- Only a small fraction of depressed population actually go to a psychologist and remain in psychotherapy
Psychotherapy and talking therapies are effective but not everyone can do this
While psychotherapy is undoubtably one of the best ways to beat depression and it’s coupling with anti-depressant medication is viewed as one of the most effective treatments against strong depression the cold reality of the world is that most people can’t afford it and even for the ones that can maintain treatment within it can be difficult. To lower both these barriers different ways of treatment really need to be explored and pushed.
“Telephone therapy was able to reduce dropout. Four out of five who got therapy over the phone could complete 18 weeks of treatment, while only two out of three assigned to face-to-face therapy could complete treatment,” Ho tells WebMD
In many cases such strong feelings and powerful lethargy and mental resistance stops them from doing the things they need to do to get better. In some cases then it is beneficial to offer different avenues and methods of treatment.
We totally support activities that cut through traditional mainstream treatments, including psychotherapy, in order to bring fresh and different approaches to treating and beating depression.
A good example of this and one that we already covered was a New Zealand firm investing in a video game treatment for depressed teenagers.
Phone treatment can also access remote and poorer communities in which mental health, depression and hopelessness is extremely prevalent. We hope that in the future this gets rolled out across many nations and enables people to access treatment previously thought inaccessible.
References and further reading