As online therapy gains in popularity various experiments are taking place to help people solve personal, emotional and financial difficulties on-line.
Traditionally therapy was conducted face-to-face in the same room, whilst education has long had a history of distance learning.
The Internet is helping to bridge these divides by enabling you to receive help in the comfort of your own home without the need to attend a clinic.
Judi Bola the Blues takes this idea one step forward. Beating the Blues was jointly designed and developed by Dr. Judy Proudfoot and her team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London and Ultrasis Plc. The program was developed for people who are resident in the U. K., and you must also meet certain criteria and live within an area where your health service will fund it.
Beating the Blues is the sole program with evidence based on a UK population showing support for on-line therapy for mild, or moderate, depression. The British Journal of Psychiatry published evidence showing that Beating the Blues is more effective than simply visiting your G. P. for medication.
A powerful alternative to the Beat The Blues Program for those who are unable to register, for whatever reason, is on-line family therapy. Family therapy has also been researched thoroughly and proven to be more effective in treating couples where a member is suffering with depression. The findings have been written up in The British Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of Family Therapy.
The strength of on-line therapy is the ability for you to receive help in the comfort of your own home, whilst in a relationship with a professional psychologist who is committed to your success.
It remains to be seen if programs based on the educational model, offering impersonal solutions to common problems, will ultimately prove to be effective. Beating the Blues seems to go a long way toward a useful balance between ‘off the peg’ exercises and ‘bespoke’ one-on-one therapy.
Online family, or couples therapy, will undoubtedly become the treatment of choice where a depression has its roots in the quality of a marital relationship, or where the behaviours of various family members are contributing to problems.
Irem Bray is a consultant psychologist with an M. Sc. in Family Therapy from London University. She is one of the forerunners of on-line face-to-face family and family business counseling