Web-based therapist training in interpersonal psychotherapy for depression: Pilot study

Kenneth A. Kobak, Joshua D. Lipsitz, John C. Markowitz, Kathryn L. Bleiberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Training mental health professionals to deliver evidence-based therapy (EBT) is now required by most academic accreditation bodies, and evaluating the effectiveness of such training is imperative. However, shortages of time, money, and trained EBT clinician teachers make these challenges daunting. New technologies may help. The authors have developed the first empirically evaluated comprehensive Internet therapist training program for interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Objective: The aim of this study was to examine whether (1) the training protocol would increase clinicians' knowledge of IPT concepts and skills and (2) clinicians would deem the training feasible as measured by satisfaction and utility ratings. Methods: A total of 26 clinicians enrolled in the training, consisting of (1) a Web-based tutorial on IPT concepts and techniques; (2) live remote training via videoconference, with trainees practicing IPT techniques in a role-play using a case vignette; and (3) a Web-based portal for therapists posttraining use to help facilitate implementation of IPT and maintain adherence over time. Results: Trainees' knowledge of IPT concepts and skills improved significantly (P<.001). The standardized effect size for the change was large: D=2.53, 95% CI 2.23-2.92. Users found the technical features easy to use, the content useful for helping them treat depressed clients, and felt the applied training component enhanced their professional expertise. Mean rating of applied learning was 3.9 (scale range from 1=very little to 5=a great deal). Overall satisfaction rating was 3.5 (range from 1=very dissatisfied to 4=very satisfied). Conclusions: Results support the efficacy and feasibility of this technology in training clinicians in EBTs and warrant further empirical evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere257
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Depression
  • Education
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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