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Therapy apps work

THE SCIENCE

Mental health apps like Talkspace and LARKR are growing in popularity, but some question whether digital therapy is as effective as the traditional type. Now, new research confirms virtual sessions can help with issues like depression in similar ways that in-person ones can.

EXPERT INSIGHT

Sharing your thoughts with another person, through any means, can improve your mental health, says Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Haverford, Pennsylvania, who was not involved with the study. If you’re traveling or bogged down with work, virtual sessions give you similar access to key aspects of tech-free therapy, like exploring your feelings and gaining a professional’s perspective.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Digital therapy is an effective alternative to traditional sessions. If you try it, opt to FaceTime rather than text with the psychologist, Gillihan says. The closer the experience is to the real thing, the more beneficial it’ll be. Ideally you’d see only one therapist, so if you already see one in-person, ask him or her if you can schedule virtual sessions when you’re busy or away.

Photo: Paul Barbera/TheLicensingProject.com