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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology