From the world of research an interesting study on the effects of a single one-day online therapy session to help cure postpartum depression

From the world of research an interesting study on the effects of a single one-day online therapy session to help cure postpartum depression

With today’s article we draw from the world of research to visualize another area of ​​intervention in which Single Session Therapy can be effective and extremely valid, especially if used in times of emergency.

We are talking about a study that involved a group of mothers with postpartum depression (PPD) who between April and October last year, at the height of the pandemic, participated in a one-day online seminar based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) , combined with standard treatment to treat this problem (Van Lieshout, Haley Layton, Savoy  et al. , 2021).

What impact does Post-Partum Depression have and how can I access treatment?

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects up to 20% of mothers, but only 1 in 10 of these women receives evidence-based treatment. 

The COVID-19 pandemic last year increased the risk of PPD, resulting in reduced access to treatment and shifting it to virtual care.



What was the objective of the study.    

The study aimed to verify the effectiveness of a one-day online seminar based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as an adjunct to standard treatment for PPD . The aim of the seminar was to reduce anxiety symptoms, strengthen social support and improve the quality of the mother-child relationship and child temperament compared to standard treatment alone.



Where and with whom was the research carried out?

The clinical trial included 403 women with PPD from across Ontario , who sought support during the period from April 20 to October 4, 2020. The women involved had Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale ( EPDS ) scores of at least 10, were 18 years or older and had a child under 12 months of age.



What type of interventions were provided? 

The  women divided into two groups were randomly assigned in the first case to a 1-day interactive online seminar based on CBT at the same time as the standard treatment (n = 202), in the second case they were subjected to the standard treatment and put on the list waiting to receive the workshop 12 weeks later (n =201).

The live workshops included group exercises , role plays and modules on the causes of PPD to help identify and change difficult thought patterns and strategies to help change behaviors to improve mood and anxiety.



What were the expected outcomes?

The hypothesized primary outcome was change in PPD (EPDS scores) in the experimental control group and the treatment waitlist group 12 weeks later. 

Secondary outcomes included maternal anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire), social support (Social Provisions Scale), mother-infant relationship quality (Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire), and infant temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire–Revised Very Short Form). .



And the results obtained?

The workshop involved :

Significant average reductions in EPDS scores .

Decrease in  mean scores on generalized anxiety .

Improvements in bonding and infant-focused anxiety , social support , and positive affect/urgency toward newborns .




Research findings suggest that 1-day CBT-based webinars provide data to treat large numbers of women with PPD effectively and efficiently , increasing access and supporting stepped care approaches .

During the pandemic, for example, one mother in three was affected by post-partum depression and this study has shown for the first time that this problem can also be treated online in just one day and that remote therapy sessions can help reduce barriers to treatment, including travel time, cost and the risk, as in this case, of exposure to COVID-19 for both mothers and babies. The mothers were also able to access the sessions independently without having to first contact a doctor.


Angelica Giannetti
Psychologist, Psychotherapist
Team of the Italian Center
for Single Session Therapy




Cannistrà, F., & Piccirilli, F. (2018). Single Session Therapy: Principles and Practices . Giunti Editore.

Van Lieshout, R.J., et al. (2021). Effect of Online 1-Day Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–Based Workshops Plus Usual Care vs Usual Care Alone for Postpartum Depression A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry .

Henderson, E. (2021). One-day online therapy session can help treat postpartum depression. New Medical from

Subscribe now and stay updated with important Single Session Therapy news and the next SST Symposium (in Italy)!

Rosita Del Medico

I commenti sono chiusi.