E-couch is an online therapy program for young people experiencing anxiety, depression, grief and anger. Learn more about the program, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.
This tool will assist with:
- young people suffering anxiety, depression, grief and anger
- providing an evidence-based online program for information and managing symptoms
- providing “youth friendly” interactive activities and multimedia.
E-couch is an evidence-based online program offering various therapy styles for young people suffering anxiety, depression, grief and anger. Developed by the Australian National University, the site provides strategies and basic skills for managing symptoms along with current information on mood disorders.
Presented in a “youth friendly” and interactive manner featuring graphics and video, E-couch contains four toolkits or therapy choices based on CBT, IPT, physical activity and relaxation. The program is free but requires registration.
Where to access this tool
When to use E-couch
The tool should be introduced to self-motivated young people suffering depression, anxiety, grief or anger. The text can be complex so consider clients with good verbal skills and insight before proceeding.
What young people thought of E-couch
- Interface is approachable and well organised.
- Interactive quizzes guide user to area of interest.
- Information on mental issue and treatment options concise and clear.
- Associated multimedia helpful.
- Personalised – self-guided, can track progress and move at own pace.
- Very text heavy, wordy and repetitive.
- Focus only on depression and anxiety.
- Quizzes are too frequent and not enough worksheets/activities provided.
- Includes treatment advice requiring prescription, which may lead to self-medicating.
Professionals’ advice on using E-couch in practice
The tool can be used as a standalone and is appropriate as homework if doing CBT with a client. Before recommending E-couch, give the client the choice of doing activities online or on paper.
Toolkits can be completed in any order and can correspond with what is being targeted in therapy.
Clients are able to track their progress but the health professional should remain available for questions and updates. If the therapist is not available or a client is receiving help in a non-therapeutic capacity, the program can be a helpful support.
Advice from young people
E-couch is a great tool to introduce to new clients for further information about what they’re feeling and as guide for sessions.
Not to be considered a self-help tool, E-couch should be used alongside professional support.
This tool was reviewed by Brittany and Sarah, young people from ReachOut.com. Professional advice was provided by Liesje Donkin (Psychologist).
Using this tool
- Offer it to young people as a way of working on anxiety problems.
- Recommend it as homework, and check in regularly.
- Consider recommending eheadspace for additional mental health support.