Telephone psychotherapy sessions are becoming more commonplace and new research suggests it may be more effective that face-to-face appointments.
The study showed that patients are less likely to drop out of their psychotherapy treatment when talking to their psychotherapist over the phone than those who attend a session in person.
According to the study published in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, the average drop-out rate in one study for telephone patients was 7.6% while in another study traditional psychotherapy sessions attrition rate was 46.9%.
The study also highlighted that a psychotherapy session over the phone appeared to be just as effective as traditional therapy in reducing depression and its associated symptoms.
"The problem with face-to-face treatment has always been very few people who can benefit from it actually receive it because of emotional and structural barriers," said David Mohr, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and lead author of the study.
"There can be logistical challenges such as getting transportation to appointments or taking time off of work, as well as emotional challenges.
"One of the symptoms of depression is people lose motivation. It's hard for them to do the things they are supposed to do. Showing up for appointments is one of those things."
Psychotherapy is a beneficial and effective alternative medicine and complementary therapy treatment for a variety of conditions.