Phone Therapy FAQs

What is phone based therapy?

Phone based therapy is the same as face-to-face therapy with the exception that the interaction is carried out on mobile or telephone. This form of therapy offers increased flexibility because it cuts out the time restraints imposed by travelling to a face-to-face session.

What is the evidence base for phone based 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. The telephone component of our service has not been subject to rigorous testing yet. If you are in doubt speak with another health professional such as your GP or psychiatrist. This is an abstract from a research paper titled "The Effect of Telephone-Administered Psychotherapy on Symptoms of Depression and Attrition: A Meta-Analysis". Increasingly, the telephone is being used to deliver psychotherapy for depression, in part as a means to reduce barriers to treatment. Twelve trials of telephone-administered psychotherapies, in which depressive symptoms were assessed, were included. There was a significant reduction in depressive symptoms for patients enrolled in telephone-administered psychotherapy as compared to control conditions (d = 0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.14–0.39, p < .0001). There was also a significant reduction in depressive symptoms in analyses of pretreatment to posttreatment change (d = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.50–1.13, p < .0001). The mean attrition rate was 7.56% (95% CI = 4.23–10.90). These findings suggest that telephone-administered psychotherapy can produce significant reductions in depressive symptoms. For more information you are encouraged to visit Google Scholar and enter the search terms "cognitive-behavioural", "telephone", "psychotherapy" and "online". Using this strategy you can find more information on the research status of phone therapy.

Who provides phone based therapy at Couch in the Cloud?

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.

Can I find out about my clinician before I get started?

Sure, no problem. We can send you information about each of our clinicians. You can confirm their credentials on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website.

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 long does each session last?

A typical session runs for 1 hour, however we believe it is important to be flexible to your needs.In some cases only a brief session (e.g., 20 minutes) is required, and in some cases a longer session (e.g., 2 hours) is required.

How do I book sessions?

For your initial session you and your therapist will agree upon a time to meet. For all sessions after that we have an online booking system to make it a seemless process for you. We will send you a text reminder 24 hours before your session in case you forget. You should treat the process like face-to-face therapy.

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.

What does it cost?

At present we offer 50 minute therapy sessions plus 10 minutes of administration (i.e. writing notes and liaising with other professionals on your behalf) for $75.