The Northampton Center For Couples Therapy is now providing online couples counseling as a supplement to face-to-face couples therapy for couples who live in Massachusetts and meet criteria for treatment.

 

Why Online Couples Therapy?

NCCT recognizes that finding a good couples therapist in your community can be challenging and that there is a strong need for couples therapists trained in evidence-based modalities.

For people who are facing a commute to receive our services, online couples counseling can help you save on travel costs and lost time from work, and give you access to our specialized team and services from the convenience of your home.

While we strongly believe in the benefits of online care, we also support in-person care and believe online care should only be used when appropriate. Not all couples will benefit from online couples therapy and NCCT reserves the right to refuse online treatment to couples where it is not the optimal method of care.

In order to receive online couples counseling at NCCT you and your partner must:

  • Be Massachusetts residents

  • Participate in an in-person assessment via a marathon therapy retreat at NCCT and be available for supplemental mini-marathons a minimum of once every 4-6 weeks, or based on your therapist’s recommendation

  • Have a computer, internet access and a webcam

  • Experience your relationship as being in mild to moderate distress

  • Commit to participate in weekly 90 minute online couples therapy sessions during the weeks you do not attend a mini-marathon.

 

When is Online Couples Therapy Not Advisable?

Online Couples Therapy is not recommended for you if you or your partner are struggling with:

  • An undisclosed, ongoing or recent affair

  • Active addiction (drugs, alcohol, etc.)

  • Serious violence in your relationship, threats of serious violence, or fear of serious violence on the part of one or both partners

  • Untreated, diagnosable mental illness (bipolar, psychotic disorders and major clinical depression), not including past and successfully treated mental health conditions that are currently stable and/or in remission

  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or a history of serious harm inflicted on another person

  • Lack of commitment to the therapy process.

Does Online Care Work?

Leading research organizations including Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, and the National Institute of Mental Health have found that online mental health care can be as effective as in-person care. You can learn more about the research supporting online care by visiting our online therapy effectiveness page.

 

How Do I Get Started?

You can contact NCCT to schedule an initial Marathon Therapy Retreat. Once you complete your Marathon Therapy session, your therapist will discuss follow-up treatment options with you including online couples therapy and mini-marathons.

Fees: The fee for a 90 minute online couples therapy is $300. Sessions that run beyond will be charged at a rate of $200 an hour at a minimum of 15 minute increments. NCCT does not accept health insurance for online couples therapy services.

*Please note, the number of slots for this service are limited, NCCT can speak with you about our current availability.

Effectiveness

Since the introduction of the Internet, many people have begun to develop platforms for therapeutic and educational purposes, previously only provided in person. Data about the effectiveness of online therapy has begun to be published and several important studies are summarized here.

Psychotherapy via internet as good as if not better than face-to-face consultations University of Zurich | July 2013

Does psychotherapy via the Internet work? For the first time, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich have studied whether online psychotherapy and conventional face-to-face therapy are equally effective in an experiment. Based on earlier studies, the Zurich team assumed that the two forms of therapy were on a par. Not only was their theory confirmed, the results for online therapy even exceeded their expectations.

Outcomes of 98,609 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Patients Enrolled in Telemental Health Services, 2006–2010 Psychiatric Services | April 2012

This four-year study, the first large-scale assessment of telemental health services, found that after initiation of online couples therapy, patients' hospitalization utilization decreased by an average of approximately 25%. (Psychiatric Services 63:383–385, 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201100206)

Randomized Controlled Trial Shows Telepsychiatry Is As Effective As In-person Treatment  American Psychiatric Association | June 2007

“Psychiatric consultation and follow-up delivered by telepsychiatry produced clinical outcomes that were equivalent to those achieved when the service was provided face to face. Patients in the two groups expressed similar levels of satisfaction with service. An analysis limited to the cost of providing the clinical service indicated that telepsychiatry was at least 10% less expensive per patient than service provided face to face.”

The Effectiveness of Telemental Health Applications: A Review  Canadian Journal of Psychiatry | Nov 2008

A review of the literature identified 32 publications on telemental health (TMH) that were judged to be of high or good quality. There was evidence of success with TMH in the areas of child psychiatry, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders and smoking prevention.

Specific Conditions

Internet-based PTSD Therapy May Help Overcome Barriers to Care 
National Institute of Mental Health | November 2007

“NIMH-funded researchers recently completed a pilot study showing that an Internet-based, self-managed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, with effects that last after treatment has ended.”

Online Behavioral Therapy Found Effective in Depression 
The Lancet | August 2009

Researchers from the University of Bristol compared the effectiveness of 10 online sessions with a therapist to treatment by a general practitioner. 42% of the participants treated through online therapy recovered from depression versus 26% with in-person care.

The Web: Online Psychotherapy Effective 
British Journal of Psychiatry | November 2005

“Therapy for mildly depressed patients delivered over the Internet can be as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy …”

 
We walked out feeling renewed and ready for challenges that currently face us and future ones.
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