Sunday, April 18, 2010

CATCH-IT and MoodGYM: Online Therapy?

One approach to providing mental health treatment that has emerged in the past few years is the use of online workbooks or exercises to supplement counseling or therapy. The idea is not to replace face-to-face therapy, but to provide assistance to those who cannot seek regular mental health care (for example, those in remote rural areas).

Two projects worth investigating are CATCH-IT, for adolescents, and MoodGYM, for adults. MoodGYM is designed to replicate Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and been shown to be effective in randomized, controlled trials. Both models provide visitors with assessment tools and exercises aimed at reducing current and future symptoms of depression.

You have to set up user accounts to use the sites, but it is possible to do so quickly and with the intention of exploring the site. Of course, you can use it to attempt to improve your own mental health, but keep in mind the sites are not intended to replace normal mental health care.

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