Forming this relationship in May 2017, Therapy For You and ieso have helped patients across the county access the support they need comfortably and conveniently.
With Therapy For You’s firm commitment to making therapy as accessible and inclusive as possible, the opportunity to work alongside ieso represented a huge opportunity to expand its range of treatment pathways.
“From the beginning, our mission at Therapy For You has been to improve accessibility to essential, effective mental health support,” explains Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).
“Conventional face-to-face therapy may not be feasible for everyone due to their travel options or circumstances. Likewise, some find speaking to someone in person or over the phone very uncomfortable, which creates a major barrier between them and the help they need.
“By affiliating our service with ieso, we are breaking down these barriers and providing an effective, accessible alternative for our service users.”
ieso Online Therapy is a unique service allowing users to communicate one-to-one with a qualified therapist over text through their phone, tablet, computer or similar device. Completely remote and accessible anywhere with an internet connection, ieso’s secure, confidential platform has helped over 115,000 people since its formation in 2000.
ieso’s treatments are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a talking therapy that focuses on changing people’s thoughts and behaviours to improve their feelings. With numerous CBT therapists on their team, this aligned perfectly with the treatments Therapy For You was already providing its service users.
Prospective users self-refer through the ieso website, which will then match them to a suitable therapist. Both parties will then arrange a convenient date for the first of their weekly typed therapy sessions, typically lasting between 30 and 60 minutes.
Between sessions, users will be asked to practise exercises and techniques. Their therapist will monitor progress as treatment progresses by assessing how their users respond to digital questionnaires. Users can also revisit their past conversations at any time, which can be accessed for up to 20 years after discharge from the service.
“The ieso platform is incredibly robust and easy to use, which has helped make it such an effective tool for our service users,” says Black.“Its structure and application of CBT techniques are very much in line with our approach at Therapy For You, and made it a seamless inclusion to our treatment pathways. We also appreciate the long-term availability of past conversations for patients, as it’s a great way to support relapse prevention.
ieso therapists treat a wide range of common mental health symptoms, which include anxiety and worry, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias, sleep problems, social anxiety and stress.
Therapy For You firmly believes that ieso’s typed therapy has helped open the door to treatment for many in North East and South East Essex.
“There are many reasons why someone may not be willing or able to attend in-person therapy sessions,” explains Black. They may be unable to drive or easily travel to the venue or find it impossible to fit this around their schedule and responsibilities.”
“Alternatively, some find it hard to communicate their thoughts and feelings face-to-face, over the phone or through a video call. Texting eliminates these barriers and empowers people to express themselves through their writing, which many prefer over speaking.”
“Overall, typed therapy allows people to access support at a time and place they are comfortable with. It’s familiar, simple and convenient, and I’m confident it’s led numerous people to access support they would have otherwise avoided.”
ieso’s particular treatment platform also offers several unique advantages for users, including appointments seven days a week, 6 am–11 pm, a completely secure and encrypted online chat platform, the ability to message questions to therapists between sessions and access to a network of over 600 qualified and accredited therapists and psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWPs).
“95% of users would recommend ieso to their family and friends, and having been affiliated with the group for several years, it’s easy to see why,” states Black.
“As an organisation that prides itself in the flexibility and variety of our treatment pathways, ieso’s platform is a pivotal part of our service, and we are delighted that we can provide this option for people throughout Essex.”