Does teletherapy really work?

We’ve been providing therapeutic services via telehealth since 2018. It lends flexibility for:

  • Families with children away at college or camp, who can’t return home for treatment
  • Individuals in rural areas where therapeutic resources are limited
  • People whose local mental-health clinic doesn't offer evidence based treatment
  • People who travel frequently for work
  • Families who aren’t within driving distance, or don’t have transportation, to evidence based treatment specialists
  • Adjunctive to traditional therapy to provide in-vivo support during treatment

Out of necessity, we offered virtual sessions exclusively during the pandemic – even as we wondered how the effectiveness of treatment would be impacted.

As an evidence-based treatment center, we use widely accepted  “three-legged stool” approach to treatment planning with the legs comprising:

  • Research
  • Clinical Expertise
  • Client Preferences

Here's how it applies to the question of receiving therapy in person v. virtual sessions:


In the research that has been done over the past few years, data indicate there is no difference in the effectiveness of treatment provided virtually compared to that of in-person sessions. This evidence aligns with our own experience working with clients in-person and online.

In fact, virtual delivery of evidence-based treatment offers some additional benefits. It allows improved access to care and more options of therapists for clients who live in remote areas or are unable to travel to treatment sessions.

As CEBT specializes in complex care , we pay close attention to telehealth outcomes from evidence-based treatments for multi-diagnostic clients including eating, personality, and emotional dysregulation disorders. Findings indicate that evidence-based practices for these disorders are as effective virtually as they are in person.

Clinical Expertise

Placing a high value on clinical expertise has always been central to our mission. Our clinical leaders are nationally and internationally recognized experts in their fields, and each team member shares our core value of clinical excellence in evidence-based practices.

Our student training clinic provides expert training and supervision to graduate students, allowing us to provide services at a lower cost while furthering the reach of care. Each team member has received training in HIPAA compliance and standards of care for delivering telehealth services. And the technology we use to provide virtual treatment meets or exceeds standards of care.

Client Preferences

Client preferences matter when it comes to the way treatment is delivered. While the treatment outcomes themselves haven’t shown to be impacted by telehealth delivery, we know that each client’s own preference for telehealth v. in-person sessions will influence participation in therapy. For this reason, we  continue to offer in-person sessions at our office whenever possible, and actively recruit professionals to provide this vital option.

If you have questions, concerns or thoughts about telehealth v. in-person services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Research referenced in video above

Lin, T., Heckman, T. G., & Anderson, T. (2022). The efficacy of synchronous teletherapy versus in-person therapy: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 29(2), 167-178.

Giovanetti, A. K., Punt, S. E. W., Nelson, E., Ilardi, S. S. (2022) Teletherapy Versus In-Person Psychotherapy for Depression: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Telemedicine and e-Health, Vol. 28, No. 8​. 10.1089/tmj.2021.0294

Dunn, N., Walton, C. J., Matsunaga, E., Williams, C., Dimeff, L. A. (2022) Acceptability of Telehealth for Multidiagnostic Suicidal Patients in a Real-World Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Telemedicine and e-Health, Vol. 29, No. 4​.

Stetsiv, K., Rebmann, K., Wilks, C. R. (2023). Fears and challenges of dialectical behavior therapists using telehealth. Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Volume 33, Issue 1, 57-64.

Where we offer teletherapy

CEBTOhio is licensed to provide telehealth services in the states shaded in green below. 

If you have questions about treatment in a state not listed here, we are are happy to help with referrals to other providers of evidence-based treatment.

This link to the Florida Department of Health website is provided in accordance with Florida law:

CEBT practice area