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Free, Web-Based Treatment for Depression

09 Nov

This week’s featured research is about the effectiveness of treating depression with short-term, web-based, clinician-assisted cognitive behavioral treatment.  It’s no surprise that this study is one of many that comes out of Australia, where there’s a special need for this sort of thing, because of a scarcity of trained therapists, long wait lists, reluctance to go to a therapist and significant distances from medical help in some parts of the country.  

One such CBT program, (also developed in Australia), is something called the Mood Gym. It’s a free, modular-based program developed by the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University.  It gets high marks and decent respect for being well designed and fairly effective for many with mild or moderate depression, although nobody claims it to be a substitute for medical treatment, or a panacea for severe depression.

Modules explore issues like:

  1. why you feel the way you do,
  2. changing the way you think,
  3. identifying  ‘warped’ thoughts,
  4. knowing what makes  you upset and
  5. assertiveness and interpersonal skills training.

There’s a review of it here  As you’ll see, it’s geared more for young people (with the examples used, for instance), but anyone can use it, and it’s a good example of cognitive behavioral therapy in action. There’s a fairly extensive questionnaire and some journaling involved, so it does take some time.  

So for those of you who want to test out a web-based approach for depression, this is as good a place to start as any.

You can also check out our guided imagery, breathwork and yoga for depression.  These methods work well alone or collaborate well with web-based CBT or individual psychotherapy too.








All best,