Self-help and minimal-contact therapies for anxiety disorders: Is human contact necessary for therapeutic efficacy?

Michelle G. Newman, Thane Erickson, Amy Przeworski, Ellen Dzus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

162 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-help materials, brief therapies, and treatments involving minimal therapist contact have all been proposed as effective and low-cost interventions for anxiety disorders. However, research also suggests that the therapeutic alliance is a central predictor of therapy outcome. Interestingly, amounts of therapist contact within and across "self-help" interventions vary greatly. It is therefore unclear how much therapist contact is necessary for a positive anxiety disorder treatment outcome. The present article reviews the literature on anxiety disorder treatments using self-help, self-administered, and decreased therapist-contact interventions. Treatment studies are grouped together by anxiety diagnosis as well as amount of therapist contact. It is concluded that self-administered treatments are most effective for motivated clients seeking treatment for simple phobias. Predominantly self-help therapies are efficacious for panic disorder and mixed anxiety samples. On the other hand, minimal-contact therapies have demonstrated efficacy for the greatest variety of anxiety diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-274
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Self-help and minimal-contact therapies for anxiety disorders: Is human contact necessary for therapeutic efficacy?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this