I thought I’d take the time to review the MoodGYM program provided by the charity Mind. You can find it here: https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/moodgym (it took a little while to load each page on my mac, but then sometimes my internet can be super slow).
It starts with a ‘Warpy Thoughts Test’ where you have to tick the statements and whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree… and so on. It took about 10 minutes to complete this part (although in each module, it asks you to complete it again… which is quite tedious).
It is then split into modules, including thoughts, feelings, behaviours, relationships and so on. Within the modules, it gives examples using other characters with different personality traits and gets you to think about the same situation from a different perspective. This is interesting because I always related to the more negative view of a situation. There are a couple of activities to do. When I began following the program, it was really interesting to see how differently we interpret things, for example my issue is when people look at me, I think they’re thinking negatively. There’s a bit about two statues that are basically saying what they think, one saying ‘oh I’m wonderful to look at’ and another saying ‘I’m old, horrible…’ etc. It made me think very carefully about how I perceive other people’s thoughts; I wrote a blog post the other day about mind reading and how we should stop doing it. You can read that here.
I found that the MoodGYM used similar techniques and taught skills that my CBT therapist has been working on with me. Obviously a therapist can talk you through these skills and apply them personally to you, making it a whole lot more beneficial. However, if you’re on a long waiting list for therapy, then the MoodGYM may be a good place for you to go whilst you are waiting. It’ll give you a good introduction to therapy and start you thinking about what skills you think would help you.
Overall, I found that MoodGYM is a great program for those that would like to self help, are waiting for therapy or are too afraid to seek help face-to-face. You have to be willing to read the content and persevere through each stage, rather than skip parts, otherwise it won’t be beneficial for you. There are several modules and you have to work through each one, so even if you just want to get to the relationship module, it is still important to go through the other modules first.
On a sidenote, I also bought CBT for Dummies from Amazon (find it here) and that also helped with some techniques and skills before I saw my therapist initially. It helped speed up some of the sessions because I could already list some skills I had begun to try and we could then work on them together. The book has lots of worksheets that you could complete (my therapist calls this ‘homework’), which you could take along to your session and discuss together. To get the best out of any kind of therapy you need to be willing to do the work yourself.
If you’re awaiting CBT or want to try the MoodGYM, good luck, and if you’d like to, let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear from you!