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Aussies love web and phone based interventions for health education and mental health, and are pre-eminent researchers and evaluators of digital services – probably because flesh and blood providers can be hard to come by in the vast, non-urban areas of this very big country that's also a continent.

This Australian study examines whether mental health self-efficacy (MHSE), a construct from Bandura's Social Learning Theory (SLT), influences the positive results of web-based interventions on such conditions as depression and anxiety.



Steve Petrow is a columnist on modern manners and an all-round terrific writer.  This is his personal story, which first appeared in the Washington Post on May 26, where he talks about how he conquered the family tradition of excessive worry over things that might happen, with the help of a smart therapist, some guided imagery and a new mantra. Here it is verbatim:

Last fall, at precisely the same hour my 81-year-old mother was being handed a lung cancer diagnosis at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, my 84-year-old father was calling 911 for a pesky nosebleed. An ambulance rushed him to the emergency room of another hospital, where he was promptly turned away; it doesn’t admit patients for run-of-the-mill maladies such as nosebleeds. Uptown with my mother, I knew I’d lost the battle of helping Dad manage his anxiety.

It’s been a long struggle. Ten springs ago, Dad saw five neurologists, including the world-famous Oliver Sacks, because no one could tell him why he had increasing difficulty with his articulation and balance. Soon after, he e-mailed me: “I have some sort of degeneration in the cerebellum, cause unknown, no treatment, no cure. Thank God it’s so slow moving.”




Dear BR,

I feel the opposite of the person who avoids rejection by avoiding people. I think I'm TOO outgoing and turn off people by being too in the middle of everything. How can I balance my social need with more subtle behavior? I’m in my forties.





Dear Belleruth,

First off, I'd like to offer my thanks to you for helping people all over the country with their emotional/mental troubles and needs. Unfortunately, I suffer from germaphobia accompanied by fear of illness. It’s so bad that I wash my hands constantly, avoid touching things when I’m out in public, and carry sanitizer around in my pocket.  Plus, I don't go out to restaurants anymore, because I fear the people who made the food aren't careful with hygiene and contaminate my food with some kind of bacteria.

This all came about this past April, when I was very ill with a really bad stomach virus. It ended up being a very traumatic event for me, to say in the least... and I haven't been able to move on. I've tried everything I could afford -therapy, holistic medicine, acupuncture, meditation, etc.  I'm tired of living with this constant fear - what do you recommend for someone with my case? Thank you very much. Feel free to post this.





Dear Belleruth,

I'm feeling anxious about the economy, worrying about losing my job, etc. etc.  I don't want to dwell on this, as I believe that my thoughts could manifest the very events I'm worrying about.

Any tools, affirmations, guided imagery to help with this?  




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Then several months later, he falls apart w/anxiety, physical pain in legs and legs shaking constantly/spastic - finally quits going to work and is now in a wheelchair.\n  \n Had another brain and spinal cord MRI and doctors find nothing wrong. Just sits & does NOTHING. No hope. Becoming irritated by everything.

I had them buy your Ease Pain CD and Healthful Sleep (as hes getting only a few hours of sleep). He listened to Ease Pain only a few times and says it irritates him and he refuses to listen. \n \nAny suggestions? \n \nThank you.



Okay, so what could be worse than being a newscaster on Good Morning America and having a paralyzing panic attack, right there, before a national audience? This is the stuff of performance anxiety nightmares, right?

Dan Harris says it’s the best thing that could have happened to him.  Check it out.  (Good thing he had a knowledgeable doc who knew exactly what was going on…)

Read How an On-Air Panic Attack Improved My Life.



Researchers from Stanford University investigated the effectiveness of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) on Social Anxiety Disorder, as compared with aerobic exercise.

Fifty-six adults (52% female; 41% Caucasian; age mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD]: 32.8 ± 8.4) with SAD were randomized to either an MBSR condition or the active comparison condition of aerobic exercise (AE).
At baseline and post-intervention, participants completed measures of social anxiety , depression, stress and sense of well-being (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, and Perceived Stress Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, and UCLA-8 Loneliness Scale).



Investigators from the Department of Music at the University of Jyväskylä, in Jyväskylä, Finland conducted a two-armed, randomized, controlled trial (RCT) with 79 depressed clients who were also experiencing anxiety, in order to compare the impact of standard care versus Music Therapy (MT) in addition to Standard Care (SC), on symptoms.
The purpose of the study was to examine the mechanisms involved in any improvements that might result from Music Therapy, with particular focus on anterior frontotemporal resting state alpha and theta brain waves*.
Measures were taken at intake and after 3 months, using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, along with EEG results.
The research team found that music therapy significantly reduced both depression and anxiety symptoms.



In a small pilot study at the Pediatric Pulmonary Department of Armand Trousseau Hospital in Paris, France, investigators assessed the efficacy of medical hypnosis to reduce anticipatory anxiety and acclimatization time in children who are candidates for long-term ventilator use or NPPV (noninvasive positive pressure ventilation).

The hypnosis was performed by a trained nurse, and acclimatization time and long-term compliance with NPPV were evaluated.

Hypnosis was performed in nine children aged 2 to 15 years. Seven children had a high level of anticipatory anxiety because of a tracheotomy since birth (n=2), a history of maxillofacial surgery (n=2), severe dyspnea because of lung disease (n=2), and morbid obesity and depression (n=1), and two children with obstructive sleep apnea failed standard NPPV initiation.