Guided Self-Help

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Guided self-help involves:

  • working through a workbook (or a series of booklets) about depression and/or anxiety
  • carrying out the exercises or activities suggested
  • following an agreed schedule for working through the material, usually spread over 2-3 months
  • opportunities to discuss your progress through the course on the telephone or face-to-face with a clinician

Guided self-help can help you:

  • learn more about the difficulties you have been experiencing, e.g., become more informed about the causes of depression and anxiety
  • learn about cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • become your own therapist, applying CBT techniques for yourself, learning skills that you can continue to use to stay well in the future
  • recover from depression and/or anxiety: research suggests it can be as effective as one-to-one therapy for some people. It can also reduce the number of one-to-one therapy sessions needed to recover. Guided self-help is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for depression and some anxiety problems

To benefit from the programme, you need to:

  • set aside regular time each week to do the reading
  • spend time carrying out the suggested exercises
  • have a reasonable understanding of written English (we are sorry we do not have workbooks in other languages at this moment)

The workbooks and self-help books cover a range of topics including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Worry
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • IBS
  • Managing low mood with a long term health condition such as diabetes or breathlessness

Behavioural Activation

What is Behavioural Activation (BA)?

  • BA is a psychological treatment for depression
  • It is a very practical approach, with a focus on the present rather than the past. It looks at the causes of depression in everyday life, and how to make changes to lift the depression
  • There is good evidence that it can be helpful for many people with both more severe and milder forms of depression, and therefore it is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence)

What does the enhanced guided self-help programme involve?

  • Behavioural Activation is a structured programme based on nine short booklets, supported by six weekly face-to-face or telephone sessions, plus a review session activities and ideas to try out between sessions

To benefit from the programme, you need to:

  • be willing to set aside regular time each week to look over the booklets and carry out the suggested exercises
  • have a reasonable understanding of written English (we are sorry we do not have the booklets in other languages at the moment)

    Copies of the Behavioural Activation booklets are available to download on the Therapy resources page