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Online CBT Course Shows Promise in Treating Depression among Adolescents and Young Adults

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may help reduce depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults. The current study aimed to determine the effectiveness of Master Your Mood (MYM), an internet based CBT intervention, for depressive symptoms among young people. Participants (244; ages 16-25) were randomly assigned to the online MYM course or to a wait-list control. The online MYM group focused on cognitive restructuring—participants were taught and encouraged to identify and respond to their own unhelpful and inaccurate thoughts; to engage in pleasant activities every day; and to measure their mood every day to help them understand the connection between pleasant activities and mood level. At a 3-month follow up, the MYM group showed significant improvements in depressive and anxiety symptoms. These promising results suggest that internet-based interventions may help reach adolescents and young adults who might otherwise remain untreated.

Van der Zanden, R., Kramer, J., Gerrits, R., & Cuijpers, P. (2012). Effectiveness of an online group course for depression in adolescents and young adults: a randomized trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research 14(3).