Online counseling and therapy for mental health problems: A systematic review of individual synchronous interventions using chat

Mitchell Dowling, Debra RICKWOOD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Online interventions are increasingly seen as having the potential to meet the growing demand for mental health services. However, with the burgeoning of services provided online by psychologists, counselors, and social workers, it is becoming critical to ensure that the interventions provided are supported by research evidence. This article reviews evidence for the effectiveness of individual synchronous online chat counseling and therapy (referred to as “online chat”). Despite using inclusive review criteria, only six relevant studies were found. They showed that although there is emerging evidence supporting the use of online chat, the overall quality of the studies is poor, including few randomized control trials (RCTs). There is an urgent need for further research to support the widespread implementation of this form of mental health service delivery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Technology in Human Services
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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