Oftentimes patients are referred to the website www.15minutes4me.com by their doctor, healthcare provider, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Some people hear about the program via friends or ex-participants, or by simply googling.
The results often confirm his or her feeling or the feeling of the referrer. The participant then decides whether or not to sign up for the program. What follows then is a month of daily sessions of about fifteen minutes each at a time which is chosen by the person themselves. Each day, they receive an invitation via e-mail to log in for the next step.
The first week contains a short, daily theory video with psycho-educative information. This theory helps you to build up the motivation to follow the program on a daily basis. As ’15Minutes4Me.com’ is not an e-learning program but rather a therapeutic self-help program, this daily routine in the program is essential.
Every day, the participant answers several reflective questions which have a goal of developing solution focused self-knowledge. After two weeks or so, participants start to report that the way in which they view themselves has started to change thanks to this self-reflection.
From the second week onward, the participant picks one new module. This module contains both psycho-educative videos as well as daily self-reflection.
The participant gets the opportunity to invite buddies to help them. The buddy then gets a short psycho-educative introduction once a week, with tips and techniques as to how to help and support the partner or friend. Furthermore, the buddy gives the participant solution focused feedback via the program, stimulating supportive dialogue and communication between the participant and their buddy. The participant gets a message that there is feedback from the buddy, which gives initiative to check the message, thereby increasing the participant compliance to the program.
Inviting a buddy is not necessary because some of our participants follow the program just so they can stay anonymous, without the people around them knowing. The choice lies with the participant. For depressed participants, a buddy is recommended because they can help you prevent a drop-out. They can namely encourage the participant to continue on difficult days.
Every week, the participant gets a development report with their development shown in graphs, and the request to discuss this with their doctor or healthcare provider. This way we encourage them to start a dialogue with a professional healthcare provider. This also supports the message that the medical diagnosis is never done by software, but rather only by a doctor.
The program provides access for one month at a time, because we have noticed that participants are more adherent to the program when they know that their access only lasts for one month. After every month they can decide whether or not they want to sign up for the next month. They can then immediately continue, or take a ‘therapeutic break’ and starting up again after a few weeks or months. Making the individual responsible and giving them a choice is part of the respect of their free choice, which is a part of the learning process.
The decision to buy the program for one month, makes the participant think about their choice and engagement regarding working on themselves. Self-help namely means that you want to help yourself and do not wait for some magical pil which will solve the problem in your stead.