A University of Vermont in Burlington study pitted light therapy against talk therapy to see which is more effective in treating SAD.
The study included 177 people suffering from SAD who received six weeks of treatment with either form of therapy. (More specifically, the talk therapy was cognitive behavioral therapy, which taught subjects to challenge negative thoughts about dark winter months and to avoid behaviors like social isolation). Both groups had similar relief from their symptoms in the first winter after their initial treatment. But after two winters, the recurrence of depression symptoms occurred in 46 percent of those in the light therapy group, compared with only 27 percent of those in the talk therapy group.
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