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The Efficacy of Online Therapy Groups – Part 2

This article explains some of the benefits of online therapy groups.

Online Therapy Benefits

There are many online therapy benefits. This service is accessible, convenient, affordable, and effective. This is why it is one of the fastest growing areas of therapy worldwide. COVID-19 has created an additional layer of people in search of mental health services as they continue to cope with stress, anxiety, isolation, uncertainty, and various degrees of depression.

This has generated a high demand for affordable online therapy. With hundreds of online therapy businesses popping up seemingly every day, it is important to err on the side of caution and research your options before committing. Ensure that the platform being used is as secure as possible and that sessions are with a registered or licensed mental health professional, not an entrepreneur or technology expert.

Does Online Therapy Work?

Research done by Subho Chakrabarti and published in the World Journal of Psychiatry stated that online therapy that used video conferencing as the main form of communication between patient and mental health professional promotes “high levels of satisfaction among patients.” In an additional study published by Nature News, only 44.5% of patients being treated for depression in the United States “preferred in-person psychotherapy,” making online therapy options the popular vote.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Looking into these studies have allowed mental health professionals to see the patient’s perspective of online therapy. Patients themselves have proven that online therapy is effective and beneficial for them and their well-being.

Group therapy has been used to treat mental health issues since the early 1900s and has since been used to treat a range of conditions including anxiety and depression, grief, low self-esteem, and emotional trauma. The process of group therapy consists of eleven therapeutic factors, identified by famous physiatrist and group therapy advocate, Irvin Yalom. These factors are the following: installation of hope, universality, imparting information, altruism, corrective recapitulation, socializing, imitative behaviour, interpersonal learning, group cohesiveness, catharsis, and existential factors. Group therapy has numerous additional benefits as well, including creating a community of support, allowing a wider range of perspectives to be present, inspiring others to face fears, and promoting socialization.

During a study done in 2017 about the efficacy of group psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder, it found “significant effects of group psychotherapy in reducing symptoms of PTSD compared to no-treatment control groups.” Essentially, group therapy helps. Another study published in 2018 that focused on the efficacy of group psychotherapy for geriatric depression found similar positive outcomes and that “improvements were found across a variety of settings, protocols, participant characteristics, and for several psychological domains.” There are multiple other studies published much like these that additionally support the efficacy of group therapy.

One of the only widely available studies on online therapy group efficacy was completed and published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2012. The research studied the effectiveness of an online group course for depression in adolescents and young adults. To do so, researchers evaluated young people who were taking the online group course ‘Grip op Je Dip’ (Master Your Mood). The study found the online group course was effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms for the participants, thus supporting inferences on the advantages of online group therapy.

Online therapy groups combine the benefits of online therapy and group therapy, making it an increasingly attractive option for treating a multitude of mental health issues and concerns, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a growing number of online therapy groups with hundreds of online therapy sessions occurring every week; you’ll be able to find the best online therapy for you.

References

• Chakrabarti, Subho. “Usefulness of Telepsychiatry: A Critical Evaluation of Videoconferencing-Based Approaches.” World Journal of Psychiatry, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc., 22 Sept. 2015, www.wjgnet.com/2220-3206/full/v5/i3/286.htm.
• Cherry, Kendra. “What Is Online Therapy?” Verywell Mind, 5 Oct. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-online-therapy-2795752#citation-1.
• “Efficacy of Group Psychotherapy for Post traumatic Stress Disorder: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10503307.2017.1405168.
• Khan, Nadia. “What Is Group Therapy and How Effective Is It?” BetterHelp, BetterHelp, 14 Apr. 2017, www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-group-therapy-and-how-effective-is-it/.
• Miller, Anna Medaris. “Online Therapy Is in High Demand as Coronavirus Anxiety Drives People to Get Help without Leaving Their Homes.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 5 Mar. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-anxiety-leading-people-to-online-therapy-2020-3.
• Orenstein, Beth W., et al. “6 Benefits of Group Therapy for Mental Health Treatment: Everyday Health.” EverydayHealth.com,
www.everydayhealth.com/news/benefits-group-therapy-mental-health-treatment/
• Renn, Brenna N., et al. “Preference for in-Person Psychotherapy versus
Digital Psychotherapy Options for Depression: Survey of Adults in the U.S.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 Feb. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41746-019-0077-1.
• Tavares, L.R., and M.R. Barbosa. “Efficacy of Group Psychotherapy for Geriatric Depression: A Systematic Review.” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Elsevier, 18 June 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167494318301158.
• Zanden1, Rianne van der, et al. “Effectiveness of an Online Group Course for Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Randomized Trial.” Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Publications Inc., Toronto, Canada, www.jmir.org/2012/3/e86.

By Hilarapy Editorial Staff. Hilarapy is a leading comedy therapy organization. For more information on how comedy therapy can help you or someone you know, go to hilarapy.com

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