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Machado, D.d. Laskoski, P.B. Severo, C.T. Bassols, A.M. Sfoggia, A. Kowacs, C. Krieger, D.V. Torres, M.B. Gastaud, M.B. Wellausen, R.S. Teche, S.P. Eizirik, C.L. (2016). A Psychodynamic Perspective on a Systematic Review of Online Psychotherapy for Adults. Brit. J. Psychother., 32(1):79-108.

(2016). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 32(1):79-108


A Psychodynamic Perspective on a Systematic Review of Online Psychotherapy for Adults

Diogo de Bitencourt Machado, Pricilla Braga Laskoski, Charlie Trelles Severo, Ana Margareth Bassols, Ana Sfoggia, Clarice Kowacs, Daniela Valle Krieger, Mariana Benetti Torres, Marina Bento Gastaud, Rafael Stella Wellausen, Stefania Pigatto Teche and Cláudio Laks Eizirik

A variety of new psychotherapy modalities has arisen in which the contact between patient and therapist takes place via the internet. The main objective of this systematic review is to investigate the types of online psychotherapy (OP) conducted nowadays, and to describe their main characteristics to psychodynamic psychotherapists who may wish to better understand the current scientific literature on the subject. The review used two databases, EMBASE and PsycINFO. Fifty-nine studies were retrieved and the main online psychotherapy modalities identified were self-therapy programmes using contact via email or chat; videoconference; and therapy exclusively via chat or email. The result of these studies suggests that OP is more effective than a waiting list control group. When compared with face-to-face therapies, OP showed similar effects. Most studies involved cognitive behavioural therapy; only two studies involved a form of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Different forms of communication allow patient and therapist to establish different relationships and therapeutic possibilities. OPs may be feasible treatment alternatives; however, it remains unclear, especially in relation to psychodynamic treatments, if therapeutic technique in OP, which involves changes in comparison with face-to-face therapies, would be useful in severe cases. Psychodynamic psychotherapists should adopt a posture of constant reflection on the changes taking place in the world and their impact on the minds of individuals, without, nevertheless, idealizing the ‘new’.

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