SACKVILLE - Can self-help therapy be an effective way to reduce general psychological distress and interpersonal problems?
That is a question that Université de Moncton graduate student Margaret Priemer and psychology professor France Talbot are currently exploring as they conduct a research project that will assess the benefits of a particular form of psychotherapy when presented in an at-home book format.
Priemer, a Sackville resident who is working on the project as part of her masters degree from Moncton’s School of Psychology, said she is looking for people from the area to participate in the study, which will be a six-week, self-help therapy program designed to reduce the symptoms associated with lifelong problems such as unsatisfactory relationships, low self-image or feelings of being unfulfilled.
“Previous research shows that self-help therapy can be effective in treating specific mental health problems, particularly anxiety and mild-to-moderate depression,” said Priemer. “As well, most of this research has looked at self-help using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a type of therapy which challenges the way a person thinks in order to change how they feel and act.”
Premier said she wanted to investigate a form of therapy other than CBT. She also wanted to see whether self-help could be effective in treating not just specific mental health issues but also general psychological distress and interpersonal problems.
No travelling or appointments are required during the six-week period, only access to the Internet and a willingness to take part in this self-help type of therapy.
No professional help will be given throughout the process, but participants will receive, by mail, a self-help book including tools and techniques they can use on their own to help themselves.
The study is confidential and free of charge. Those who wish to take part in the study can check out the project website at http://coraldev.umoncton.ca/self_help/ to find out more or to determine their eligibility.