… by Karina from BEING.
I have recently finished the 8-week MindSpot Wellbeing course in an effort to tackle some anxiety symptoms I was experiencing. It’s an online course based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and aims to help with anxiety and depression. Overall, I’ve had a positive experience, and have been recommending MindSpot to people.
Why I decided to try MindSpot
I have had some experience with CBT some years ago for some anxiety issues. CBT is based on the idea that your emotions, thoughts and behaviours are all linked and affect each other. I found the skills I learnt very helpful, but I got a bit rusty with lack of practice over time.
Recently, I had started feeling like anxiety was a problem for me again. I decided to try MindSpot because it used CBT and was convenient – I could fit it around work and didn’t have to travel to any appointments. It’s also free (for Medicare-card holders).
What MindSpot’s course involved
I did an online assessment that took 20 minutes, and the next day someone from MindSpot called me to talk with me about the service. We agreed that the Wellbeing course would be most appropriate for me, and I was registered in the course the next day.
Throughout the Wellbeing course, MindSpot released new materials for me to go through every 1-2 weeks. The same therapist called me once a week for 20 minutes to see how I was going with the course. The calls were often at night to suit my timetable. The materials included slideshow lessons with information explaining skills, such as challenging unhelpful thoughts. They included stories from other people who have gone through the course. I found these particularly helpful, because I could relate to some of their experiences.
There were also Do-it-yourself guides to help you apply the lesson’s learnings to your own life, such as by filling out a worksheet or making a plan. I likened these to my homework for the week. There were also short resources about topics like good sleep, and problem-solving. I dedicated at least 4 hours a week, mainly when I’m waiting or catching the train, to go through the materials and do the exercises. Consciously working to improve myself as a person felt great.
Did MindSpot’s course help me?
According to the MindSpot’s assessments, which involved online questionnaires, the level of my anxiety symptoms did not change over the course. However, I did see improvements after I started the MindSpot’s course:
- My sleep improved – particularly after going through their good sleep guide.
- I stopped visualising worse-case scenarios in vivid detail.
- I was much more aware of any unhelpful thoughts and applied certain exercises from the course to stop them.
The course was a good revision for most of the concepts that I had already learned before. I also learnt some new helpful tools, and the therapist helped me work out how to apply them when I was unsure. However, I think it is really up to me to make any changes to myself. I’m now trying to revise the knowledge and practise the skills as a part of my daily routine.
Based on my experience, I recommend that others try out MindSpot, keeping in mind that progress takes time and hard work. Sometimes it may feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step backwards. Be kind to yourself.
Find out more about MindSpot at www.mindspot.org.au