Frequently Asked Questions

About e-couch

e-couch is an online, self-directed training program which provides interactive self-help and evidence-based information to help users to understand and manage symptoms associated with common mental issues.

The program is like an interactive self-help book, which you can log back in to at any time to learn more skills or to add to your workbooks.

e-couch offers five programs: Depression, Anxiety & Worry, Social Anxiety, Divorce & Separation and Loss & Bereavement. Each program includes a comprehensive information module, as well as self-help modules with interactive exercises and workbooks which teach evidence-based strategies.

If you or someone else is feeling suicidal, you should seek immediate help. There are people and services who can help. See Emergency help for more information.

Note that e-couch is not appropriate for crisis help.

Yes. e-couch provides training in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and psychoeducation, which are recommended treatments for depression and anxiety disorders in the clinical practice guidelines published by Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Digital CBT or Internet-delivered CBT (iCBT) is also recognised in the guidelines.

You can access the clinical practice guidelines through the following links:

e-couch offers five programs: Depression, Anxiety & Worry, Social Anxiety, Divorce & Separation and Loss & Bereavement.

Each program includes a comprehensive information module, as well as self-help modules with interactive exercises and diaries which teach evidence-based strategies.

You can complete the modules in any order. However, we recommend that you complete the information module for each program first before exploring the self-help modules. We then encourage you to revisit the modules which you find most helpful and to continue to add entries to your diaries in the workbook for each program.

When you use e-couch you automatically gain access to all of the e-couch programs. This means that you can review the information and strategies in any of the programs that you think might be helpful.

e-couch provides information about emotional problems - what causes them, how to prevent them and how to treat them. It includes exercises to help you understand yourself and others. Even better, it provides you with a set of strategies that might help you to improve your life.

Perhaps you are feeling anxious or depressed. You may be upset by a divorce or separation or a recent loss of someone close. If so, e-couch may help you work through your feelings. One in five people have an emotional problem in any twelve month period... so this site is designed for lots of people!

Note that if your symptoms are distressing or limiting we suggest that you seek the advice of a GP, mental health professional, psychologist or a specialist medical practitioner to check out your mental health status.

Click here to take a brief screening quiz for feedback about your symptoms of depression, anxiety or social anxiety, and whether e-couch may be helpful for you.

The e-couch program content is suitable for users aged 16 years or older. However, the e-couch Terms of Use require that users from the USA are aged 18 years or older.

The information and strategies presented in the e-couch programs are based on the best available scientific evidence. The programs have also been evaluated by research groups from around the world who have studied their effectiveness with different populations:

e-couch Depression program

A randomised controlled trial (RCT) showed that the e-couch Depression program yielded a greater reduction in depressive symptoms immediately post-test than an attention control, with the combination of e-couch and an online support group showing longer term positive outcomes for participants. Most participants perceived the e-couch Depression program to be beneficial. Reported benefits included an increased understanding of depression, increased work productivity, a better ability to cope with everyday stress, an improved ability to relate to others, and improved enjoyment of life.

The e-couch CBT and IPT depression toolkits have also been shown to be as effective as the extensively evaluated moodgym program in an equivalence RCT undertaken among spontaneous community users. All groups showed moderate to large within-groups effect sizes for reduction in depression symptoms.

An additional RCT demonstrated that the e-couch Depression program was effective in the reduction of depressive symptoms in people aged 45 years or more with a history of, or risks for, cardiovascular disease, compared to an attention placebo control.

e-couch Anxiety & Worry program

The e-couch Anxiety and Worry program has been trialled as a preventive program for 18–30-year-old individuals in the community (the iChill trial). This RCT found that when combined with email reminders, e-couch significantly decreased sensitivity to anxiety and ‘number of days out of role’ for participants, at least 12 months after using the program.

In a separate arm of this RCT, the e-couch Anxiety and Worry program was found to be effective in the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in 18–30-year-old individuals in the community. Both the online program and SSRI medication were found to be effective in the treatment of GAD compared to a control website.

The program has also been evaluated in a clustered randomised controlled trial as a preventive program in Australian schools. No significant differences were found for anxiety symptoms across study conditions, suggesting that a different approach (such as the moodgym program ) is more appropriate for reducing anxiety in younger, school-based populations.

e-couch Social Anxiety program

The e-couch Social anxiety program has been studied in a recent, large RCT with self-selected community users in England. This trial showed showed that use of the program was associated with a small but statistically significant improvement in social anxiety symptoms.

A previous, smaller study also found that the e-couch Social anxiety program resulted in a significant reduction of social anxiety and depression in participants with high social anxiety compared to a control group.

References

e-couch Depression program

Crisp DA, & Griffiths KM. (2016). Reducing Depression Through an Online Intervention: Benefits from a User Perspective. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3(1), 1-11.

Crisp D, Griffiths K, et al. (2014). An online intervention for reducing depressive symptoms: secondary benefits for self-esteem, empowerment and quality of life. Psychiatry Res, 216(1), 60-6.

Donker T, Batterham PJ, et al. (2013). Predictors and moderators of response to internet-delivered Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for depression. J Affect Disord, 151(1), 343-51.

Donker T, Bennett K, et al. (2013). Internet-Delivered Interpersonal Psychotherapy Versus Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults With Depressive Symptoms: Randomized Controlled Noninferiority Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(5), e82.

Donkin L, Hickie IB, et al. (2013). Rethinking the dose-response relationship between usage and outcome in an online intervention for depression: randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(10), e231.

Glozier N, Christensen H, et al. (2013). Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for adults with mild to moderate depression and high cardiovascular disease risks: a randomised attention-controlled trial. PLoS One, 8(3), e59139.

Donkin L, & Glozier N. (2012). Motivators and motivations to persist with online psychological interventions: a qualitative study of treatment completers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(3), e91.

Donkin L, Hickie IB, et al. (2012). Sampling bias in an internet treatment trial for depression. Translational Psychiatry 2(10): e174.

Griffiths KM, Mackinnon AJ, et al. (2012). The effectiveness of an online support group for members of the community with depression: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS One, 7(12), e53244.

Cockayne N, Glozier N, et al. (2011). Internet-based treatment for older adults with depression and co-morbid cardiovascular disease: protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 11(1), 10.

Griffiths K, Crisp D, et al. (2010). The ANU WellBeing study: a protocol for a quasi-factorial randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of an Internet support group and an automated Internet intervention for depression. BMC Psychiatry, 10(1), 20.

e-couch Anxiety & Worry program

Calear AL, Batterham, PJ, et al. (2016). Cluster randomised controlled trial of the e-couch Anxiety and Worry program in schools. Journal of Affective Disorders, 196, 210-7.

Calear AL, Christensen H, et al. (2016). A pilot randomized controlled trial of the e-couch anxiety and worry program in schools. Internet Interventions, 6, 1-5.

Christensen H, Batterham P, et al. (2014). Prevention of Generalized Anxiety Disorder Using a Web Intervention, iChill: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(9), e199.

Christensen H, Mackinnon AJ, et al. (2014). The effectiveness of an online e-health application compared to attention placebo or SSRI in the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Internet Interventions, 16(9).

Christensen H, Griffiths KM, et al. (2010). Protocol for a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of an online e health application for the prevention of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 10, 25.

Christensen H, Guastella, AJ, et al. (2010). Protocol for a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of an online e-health application compared to attention placebo or SSRI in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder. Trials, 11, 48.

e-couch Social Anxiety program

Powell J, Williams V, et al. (2020). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a self-guided internet intervention for social anxiety symptoms in a general population sample: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res, 22(1):e16804.

Powell J, Atherton H, et al. (2017). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a fully self-guided internet-based intervention for sub-clinical social anxiety symptoms: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Digital Health, 3, 2055207617702272.

Bowler JO, Mackintosh B, et al. (2012). A comparison of cognitive bias modification for interpretation and computerized cognitive behavior therapy: effects on anxiety, depression, attentional control, and interpretive bias. J Consult Clin Psychol, 80(6), 1021-33.

e-couch was originally developed and evaluated over 10 years by researchers at the Australian National University - the same team that developed the well-known moodgym program for depression and anxiety. The principal authors of the content were Professor Kathy Griffiths, Georgia Tayler and Professor Helen Christensen.

The development and delivery of e-couch is now undertaken by e-hub Health – an ANU spin-off company managed by the senior members of the original team. e-hub Health is committed to the ongoing development of quality resources which make a measurable impact in the wellbeing of users. e-hub Health is part of the Dialogue group of companies.

The information provided throughout e-couch is intended for information and skill development purposes only. e-couch is not a substitute for seeking diagnosis and treatment from a qualified person.

Always consult a medical practitioner or mental health professional if you require a diagnosis or treatment for anxiety, depression or other mental disorders. One reason this is important is that sometimes symptoms are caused by physical illness or certain medications and a doctor can check these out.

Persons under age 18 with depression or anxiety symptoms should speak to their parents about seeking professional help for their anxiety.

Yes. All information that you enter into the e-couch program (answers to quizzes, exercises, workbooks and diaries) is kept confidential and eHub Health is under a legal obligation to protect the integrity of your personal information.

Please see our privacy policy for detailed information.

eHub Health understands the importance of keeping your personal information secure, and is under a legal obligation to protect the integrity of your personal information.

Please see our privacy policy for detailed information.

eHub Health welcomes independent research on the use of e-couch with specific population groups or settings.

We encourage researchers to contact the e-couch support team to discuss the requirements of your research.

Subscriptions and payments

To purchase a subscription: Register an account or log in with your previously registered account. If there is no active subscription associated with your user account, you will be provided with the option to purchase a subscription.

To purchase a subscription: Register an account or log in with your previously registered account. If there is no active subscription associated with your user account, you will be provided with the option to purchase a subscription.

You can make the payment for subscription via a credit card or PayPal. Online payments are procesesd through Paddle (see Paddle’s privacy policy here ). Once your payment has been processed Paddle will email you a receipt for the purchase (including any sales taxes). Note that eHub Health does not collect or store your credit card details.

Subscription payments are processed through Paddle (see Paddle’s privacy policy here ). The charge for your payment will appear on your statement as "PAD*MOODGYM".

No. We never automatically charge for subscription renewals. Rather if your subscription expires, when you next log in you will have the opportunity to purchase a renewal if you wish.

Please contact the e-couch support team for assistance.

When you purchase a subscription to e-couch you automatically gain access to all of the e-couch programs (Depression, Anxiety & Worry, Social Anxiety, Divorce & Separation and Loss & Bereavement). This means that you can review the information and strategies in any of the programs that you think might be helpful.

User accounts

To access e-couch you will need to register an account. If you have already registered an account you can log into e-couch with your email address and password.

Note: If you have an account on the 'old' version of e-couch (ecouch.anu.edu.au ) your account details will not automatically work with this 'new' e-couch. You will need to register an account using your email address.

To register an account you will need to agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and enter your email address and a password.

If you have issues registering a user account, please contact the e-couch support team for assistance.

If your details aren't working and you have set a secret question, you can reset your password using your email address. Please note that as per our privacy policy, accounts which have not been accessed for more than 2 years may be deleted.

Note that if you registered your account on the 'old' version of e-couch (ecouch.anu.edu.au ), those details will not work with this 'new' e-couch. You will need to register an account with your email address.

If you are having trouble logging in with your e-couch account details, please contact the e-couch support team for assistance.

To delete your account, log into e-couch and go to 'My account' on the top right of your screen. Here you will see an option to delete your account.

This e-couch program is an updated version of the 'old' e-couch program (ecouch.anu.edu.au ).

If you registered your account on the 'old' version of e-couch those details will not work with this 'new' e-couch. You will need to register an account with your email address.

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