Self Directed Therapy FAQs

What is self-directed therapy?


Self-directed therapy is a treatment that is tailored to your particular problem (e.g., depression, social anxiety, panic). When you sign up to the treatment program you will gain access to materials (video, word and audio) that will guide you through an eight to twelve (depending on your issue) session treatment program.




What is the evidence base for self-directed therapy?


All of the intervention strategies used at Couch in the Cloud are evidence-based, and could be broadly termed cognitive-behavioural interventions. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the psychological therapy with the greatest support for use with most acute and chronic mental health conditions. Self-directed online therapy has a strong and growing evidence base. See this abstract from a recent summary of the research: "Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for symptoms of depression and anxiety: a meta-analysis" The effects of internet-based CBT were compared to control conditions in 13 contrast groups with a total number of 2334 participants. A meta-analysis on treatment contrasts resulted in a moderate to large mean effect size [fixed effects analysis (FEA) d=0·40, mixed effects analysis (MEA) d=0·60] and significant heterogeneity. Therefore, two sets of post hoc subgroup analyses were carried out. Analyses on the type of symptoms revealed that interventions for symptoms of depression had a small mean effect size (FEA d=0·27, MEA d=0·32) and significant heterogeneity. Further analyses showed that one study could be regarded as an outlier. Analyses without this study showed a small mean effect size and moderate, non-significant heterogeneity. Interventions for anxiety had a large mean effect size (FEA and MEA d=0·96) and very low heterogeneity. When examining the second set of subgroups, based on therapist assistance, no significant heterogeneity was found. Interventions with therapist support (n=5) had a large mean effect size, while interventions without therapist support (n=6) had a small mean effect size (FEA d=0·24, MEA d=0·26).




Who develops the self directed therapy at Couch in the Cloud?


All of our programs are developed by a team of psychologists with a background in research in clinical psychology at a university level. This means they have studied at an undergraduate level for 4 years in psychology plus another 3 years completing a PhD in psychology research; and some of the team have completed a further 2 years of clinical psychology training.




Is my GP involved in this process?


We certainly always encourage collaboration and involvement with GPs. Therefore, in most but not all instances we require contact and collaboration with your General Practitioner (GP). Your GP may be managing your Mental Health Care Plan or your medication or both and therefore it is important that your clinician speaks with them regularly to update on your situation.




How do I know which program is right for me?


We will conduct an initial videoconference or telephone interview with you over a 60-90 minute period. Following this session we will allocate you to a specific treatment program.




Who conducts the intial interview?


In keeping with Couch in the Cloud's commitment to professional excellence, all of our clinicians are trained Clinical Psychologists. This means they are specialist mental health professionals accredited to practice clinical psychology by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (Australia's peak body overseeing health carer registration). A clinical psychologist undertakes more psychology training than most mental health professionals. Specifically, each of our clinical psychologist have undertaken 4 years of basic psychology training including an honours research year; in addition to a further 2 years of postgraduate training in clinical psychology practice that is followed by a further 2 years of supervision by an experienced Clinical Psychologist. Following this, most of our clinicians complete PhD research in the field of clinical psychology (a further 3 years of training). Many of our clinicians have published research in the field of adult and child mental health. In total, our clinicians will have completed approximately 8-11 years of training.




What is the cost of the intial interview?


The cost of the initial interview is $100 for 90 minutes.




How do I book my initial interview?


Once you complete our contact form we will phone or email you to arrange a time.




Do you charge for an initial chat?


No. After you contact us we will email or phone you so you can find out more about our service and whether it would be a good fit for you.




Where do I attend the initial assessment session?


We have two options: 1. We can meet you online. We use Adobe Connect for all of our video sessions. It is a reliable and secure videoconferencing platform. When you have been allocated to a clinician they will send you a welcome package in a pdf or word format document with instructions on how to connect. 2. We can speak to you over the phone.




How long will the therapy last?


We expect most people to complete the self directed therapy program with 3-4 months.




Who is self directed therapy not for?


- Suicidal individuals - People with poor technological skills - Unmotivated individuals (i.e. people who are not presently able to motivate themselves) - Generally speaking, individuals with moderate to severe mental health problems




What if I decide I need more help?


If you are finding it difficult to make progress you can always switch over to our other combination or individual therapist programs. Our combination therapy program links you up with a clinical psychologist who will help guide you through the program, and provide some motivation too.




What does it cost?


Each treatment program costs $60. Payment of this fee will grant you access to all materials for a period of 4 months.




How do I access the program?


O nce you have attended your initial assessment and been allocated to a program we will send you a PDF with instructions for accessing all of your materials.





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