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Online therapy: viable or unviable?

Maria Adélia Minghelli Pieta William B. Gomes About the authors

The practice of online therapy is only allowed to psychologists in Brazil for research. The aim of this paper was to review studies on online therapy, discussing the features and limits of this type of psychological treatment and its implications for the therapeutic relationship and treatment effectiveness. Legal and ethical issues concerning the practice are presented. The results pointed to similarities between the therapeutic relationship online and face-to-face therapy, showing that online therapy is effective in its different modalities, although most studies deal with cognitive-behavioral interventions. Legal and ethical issues can be partially solved with clear guidelines of professional organizations and training of therapists in online mode. We conclude that online therapy requires more study, but already presents itself as a viable and promising practice.

Psychotherapy; Internet; Treatment effectiveness evaluation; Online therapy

Conselho Federal de Psicologia SAF/SUL, Quadra 2, Bloco B, Edifício Via Office, térreo sala 105, 70070-600 Brasília - DF - Brasil, Tel.: (55 61) 2109-0100 - Brasília - DF - Brazil