IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Therapy as good as drugs for depression?

Psychological therapy and counseling can be just as effective as drugs in the early stages of treating moderate to severe depression, a study found, contrary to current practice.
/ Source: Reuters

Psychological therapy and counseling can be just as effective as drugs in the early stages of treating moderate to severe depression, a study released Monday found, contrary to current practice.

“On the whole, these findings do not support the current American Psychiatric Association guidelines,” which state that most patients at that stage “will require medication,” the report from the University of Pennsylvania said.

“It appears that cognitive therapy can be as effective as medications, even among more severely depressed outpatients, at least when provided by experienced cognitive therapists,” the study said.

Researchers said they looked at 240 moderately to severely depressed patients, some of whom were given drugs and others psychological therapy in weekly and sometimes twice-weekly 50-minute sessions.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 58 percent of the patients had responded to both the drug and therapy treatments, the study said.