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Living Life to the Full - a free, guided introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
October 20, 2009 7:53 AM   Subscribe

A free website that helps you learn to diagnose and work through negative though patterns. Having seen so many posts on AskMeFi about depression, anxiety and related topics, it seemed almost a duty to share this. It's a free website (well, you have to register but it's anonymous and no cash changes hands) that's run by the health service here in the UK.

It takes you through a course of small modules which help you to identify unhelpful thoughts and feelings and use simple forms to analyse and develop new ways of thinking using the well-known CBT method.

I've often wanted to post this in an answer on AskMeFi, but realised it made more sense to post it once for everyone!

CBT is not a magic wand but it can help in addition to other types of therapy. Even though the guy who introduces the modules on this website has a nice, calming voice, probably seeing a real life doctor and counsellor is best!
posted by KMH (27 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite

 
KMH: "CBT method."

* spittake * Sorry, it's just a bit early here in the states and I'm not fully awake yet. Now let me just finish reading this po~

"CBT is not a violet wand"

* spittake *
posted by boo_radley at 7:57 AM on October 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


CBT here stands for "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy," not "Cock and Ball Torture."

I learned how to differentiate these the hard way. Note for future therapy-seekers: Licensed therapists will generally not ask you to refer to them as "mistress."

Great resource, thanks!
posted by hifiparasol at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Another horror of socialized medicine!
posted by Joe Beese at 8:16 AM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've always understood CBT to mean "computer-based training" but I will now forever think of it as "cock and ball torture". Thank you.
posted by kcds at 8:17 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Feels kinda spammy in here.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:18 AM on October 20, 2009


"If you're the sort of person who likes big words and complicated things, this course definitely isn't for you..."

So much for that, I guess?
posted by MysteriousMan at 8:24 AM on October 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but will registering for a free online CBT course preclude me from being eligible from future mental health insurance benefits here in the U.S. ?
posted by Xoebe at 8:25 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


^eligible for^
posted by Xoebe at 8:25 AM on October 20, 2009


Feels kinda spammy in here.

Yeah, I kinda thought that initially too, and truth be told it's not the best-constructed post, but it's supported by NHS, and looks like a good resource overall, so I'm casting my vote in favor of keeping it around.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:26 AM on October 20, 2009


You sometimes need a negative though. Or at least a qualifying one. Like there.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:26 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


CBT?
posted by The Straightener at 8:32 AM on October 20, 2009


As far as I can tell from a few minutes googling, the site isn't run by the NHS, although they do appear to have helped supply the content.
posted by robtoo at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2009


Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but will registering for a free online CBT course preclude me from being eligible from future mental health insurance benefits here in the U.S. ?

Um. Seriously.
posted by cmoj at 9:39 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Living Life To The Full?

Ugh. That's depressing all by itself. I can't bring myself to click on it.
posted by motty at 10:37 AM on October 20, 2009


weapons-grade pandemonium: I'm not certain I follow you.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:47 AM on October 20, 2009


The OP misspelled "thought" as "though". Nothing wrong with negative thoughs.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:17 AM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I am invincible (though only in my own mind). Go ahead and fire, copper!"

"Free*!
*though some restrictions may apply

I always use a condom, though not always in the recommended way.

weapons-grade (may I call you by your first name?), I disagree with your thesis.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on October 20, 2009


CBT worked wonders for me. This seems very good indeed.
posted by dowcrag at 11:52 AM on October 20, 2009


weapons-grade pandemonium: Certainly not. CBT is entirely fine with rational negative thoughts. However, a key problem with depression and anxiety disorders tend to irrationally inflate negative thoughts into big, fat, hairy, impossible, life-threatening messes. There is a huge difference between, "oops, I bounced a check, better transfer some money and pack a lunch next week," and "Shit! I bounced a check! I'm a complete failure as an adult and my life is falling to pieces!" What CBT does is try to unpack all the assumptions behind that "complete failure" belief to discover the ways in which it's probably an exaggeration.

At any rate, the idea that mental health care is about avoiding negative thoughts is a myth, partly enabled by the way in which mental health care is advertised, and partly because we overload emotional terms like depression and anxiety onto highly disturbed states of mind.

CBT was a great therapy and works well to manage some of my symptoms, but it wasn't quite enough.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, I agree with you, KirkJobSluder. My comment was a tangent, but positive thinking works wonders.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:26 PM on October 20, 2009


CBT tends to produce excellent, clinically proven results and is often the type of treatment people really need and don't have access to, because it tends to be expensive.

As a mental health practitioner who has been trying to put together a list of online resources for my clients and as someone who is trying to get her brother into CBT, I'm grateful for the link.

Oh, and thanks for introducing alternate meanings for the acronym into my mind. I'm sure that won't be distracting at all when I'm explaining CBT to people.
posted by threeturtles at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


maybe you're not depressed - the world may really be pretty rubbish if you look too close. Best squint a bit, buy some stuff and it'll all be alright soon enough.
posted by fistynuts at 2:45 PM on October 20, 2009


Yes, I agree with you, KirkJobSluder. My comment was a tangent, but positive thinking works wonders

CBT has virtually nothing to do with positive thinking. As the original post said, it works to deconstruct unrealistic catastrophizing.

CBT tends to produce excellent, clinically proven results and is often the type of treatment people really need and don't have access to, because it tends to be expensive.

Actually, CBT is much, much cheaper than most other therapies because it typically requires far fewer sessions. The reason it is hard to find in America is because most therapists prefer to be "eclectic" rather than using empirically-supported therapies. Many have never been trained in science and believe much more in their "clinical intuition" and the "unique qualities of the patient" than in what has been repeatedly shown to work for the largest group of people. Yes, we all have unique qualities, but how about trying what is shown to work most frequently *first* before you experiment on me?
posted by Maias at 2:54 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, CBT is much, much cheaper than most other therapies because it typically requires far fewer sessions.

Right, I should have been more clear. It's cheaper than most other types of therapies, but as you say, it can be hard to find people who are really expert at it, and they tend to be very in demand.

Also, I meant that it's more expensive than going to your family doctor for a pill, which is what your insurance company would prefer. (And is sometimes the right choice. Just not if your problem is destructive thought patterns.)
posted by threeturtles at 3:20 PM on October 20, 2009


According to the blurb on this Beating the Blues website, it is the only computerised CBT treatment for depression recommended for use in the NHS.
posted by wannalol at 6:04 PM on October 20, 2009


I was sold as soon as I heard this man say, "Welcome to the Living Life to the Full Course."

Seriously, this is interesting and I plan to explore it.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:12 PM on October 20, 2009


The link has suddenly gone down.
Temporary/JustMe, or has a block on foreign bandwidth been put in place?
posted by -harlequin- at 1:26 PM on October 22, 2009


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