Internet stretches out over all domains. Now, one can also go to online therapy for burnout, stress, or anxiety disorders. Paul Koeck, MD, doctor and practising psychotherapist, came up with 15Minutes4Me.com as an alternative application for people who are afraid of going to psychotherapists or doctors, or simply as an additional therapy based at home. By answering 24 focused questions online, people on 15Minutes4Me.com become aware of their own behavior, and can check if they suffer from burnout, depression, or an anxiety disorder. Also, 15Minutes4Me.com allows users to treat their problems in a solution focused way for a democratic fee. For this, only fifteen minutes per day are needed during the therapy period.
Discuss with your doctor
Less long-term than real therapy, but is it as efficient? Paul Koeck, MD: "The online application is a new therapeutic class. It is complimentary to psychotherapy and psychopharmacy. It is easy to get started and its use is fully optional. Yet, we still recommend users to discuss the usage with their doctor. Software cannot diagnose anything, which a doctor can. 15Minutes4Me in its turn offers the doctor or specialist graphs, so that they can easily see the development of their patients. People do not want to talk about their problems, rather they just want to find a solution for them. Oftentimes these solutions are found in small things: going for walks with their dog, hanging out with friends. The website helps people to consider their behavior for fifteen minutes per day, to get out of a vicious cycle by discovering what they enjoy. For many people it is a reachable, easy, and motivating type of help.
Reaching more people
For Doctor Koeck, it was a youth dream to help people with psychological problems. "Once I had gathered enough experience to be a good therapist, I started to think of a method to treat more people, and this way I ended up at an online application. There often is a taboo regarding psychological issues like burnout, stress, or anxiety. It is something which people do not like to get help for, especially in men. We thus often see that more men than women use the application."
Right away or via a referral
Those who end up at 15Minutes4Me.com, can have gotten there right away or have been referred by a doctor. "It is important that the doctors know of its existence and make use of it. But of course it does not replace the task of the doctor or psychotherapist. It is a useful complement", says Koeck, MD. For this online self-help program, Paul Koeck, MD received the Alfred-reward from the Flemish Union of Specialists in Solution focused cognitive and systemic Therapy, Pedagogy and Coaching abbreviated to the VVDO. The VVDO awards this prize yearly to the most deserving solution focused help-providing project in Flanders.
Download and read the full article here: (pdf) Fifteen minutes of self-reflection per day reduces complaints