A meta-analysis shows that many people get just as much help from self-help as they…

A meta-analysis shows that many people get just as much help from self-help as they do from a professional therapist.

We identified a total of 15 studies (commencement N = 910; completion N = 723) meeting inclusion criteria. We found no difference in treatment completion rate and broad equivalence of treatment outcomes for participants treated through self-help and participants treated through a therapist. Also, contrary to our expectations, we found that the variability of outcomes was broadly equivalent, suggesting that differences in efficacy of individual therapists were not sufficient to make therapy outcomes more variable when a therapist was involved. Overall, the findings suggest that self-help, with minimal therapist input, has considerable potential as a first-line intervention. The findings did not suggest that individual differences between therapists play a major role in psychotherapy outcome.

Understanding the Therapist Contribution to Psychotherapy Outcome: A Meta-Analytic Approach
Understanding the role that therapists play in psychotherapy outcome, and the contribution to outcome made by individual therapist differences has implications for service delivery and training of the