Student Counselling: Online self-help programmes

The links below will take you to three different examples of online self-help, all free to use, that you can work through at your own pace. None of them would be a good enough replacement for seeing your GP or speaking to a counsellor, but they can help you better understand concerns such as depression, stress, relationships, low confidence etc, and find some ways of managing them.

Making changes in life takes an investment of time and effort. In order to make progress, you need to be willing to engage fully with the material offered in the packages, i.e. do all the exercises recommended and put effort into reflecting on them and practising between online sessions.

This process may take some time, but it will be time well-spent if it results in long-lasting and reliable change. 

The three resources listed here are different in tone and it may be worth using this rough guide to find the one which appeals to you most.

Living Life to the Full 

This is an in-depth life skills course, for which users have to register. It offers individuals a realistic and practical approach to dealing with common difficulties such as, anxiety, depression, lack of assertiveness, and sleeping problems etc.

The course uses mostly audio, but has some wonderful video material, and also plenty of accompanying paper-based training materials to download.

There are quizzes to reflect on your self and your progress, and checklists to help you put new learnings into practice. You can take the course at your own pace, not needing to finish a whole module at one sitting.

The first section is an introduction explaining how the course is structured; the next section helps you to understand why you feel the way you do and to decide which additional modules to engage with.

The third section is made up of twelve modules on different life issues such as sleep, problem solving, challenging your thoughts etc, from which you can pick ones that feel particularly relevant.

Mood GYM

This course provides a text based program of exercises and input on five themes: ‘feelings’, ‘thoughts’, ‘unwarping’, ‘de-stressing’, and ‘relationships’, for all of which users must register.

It is perhaps less formal than the ‘Living Life to the Full’ course and feels aimed at a younger market, making use of characters, cartoons and self-quizzes, although this is not to say it is frivolous in content.

It does not have any audio or video input, but it’s possible to work progressively through the topics at your own pace and wherever you break off, it keeps your place to return to.

Mood GYM has a sister site called Blue Pages which are dedicated to information and resources about depression, including an internet support group.

Centre for Clinical Interventions

Not the catchiest title, but this website offers programs on nine psychological concerns which people commonly struggle with: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worrying, self-esteem, procrastination (putting things off) asserting yourself and eating issues.

It invites participants, who don’t have to register, to click on any topic of interest which then opens up a list of modules under that topic, which can be worked through at your own pace. Each module has information to read and worksheets to download with suggested exercises and activities.

Although this is all text-based, without the benefit of audio or video to liven it up, the broad coverage of topics with all the detailed notes and exercises means that it feels reliable and comprehensive.