Therapy For You, the NHS Talking Therapies service catering to patients in North East and South East Essex, is championing a novel approach to therapy by collaborating with ieso Online Therapy to offer typed therapy sessions.
Since establishing this partnership in May 2017, Therapy For You and ieso have collaborated to provide vital support to patients across the county. This collaboration offers patients a comfortable and convenient way to access therapy through typed communication.
With a steadfast commitment to making therapy as accessible and inclusive as possible, Therapy For You saw the collaboration with ieso as a significant opportunity to diversify their treatment options.
From the outset, Therapy For You’s mission has been to enhance access to essential and effective mental health support,” explains Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).
Traditional face-to-face therapy isn’t feasible for everyone due to travel limitations or personal circumstances. Moreover, some individuals find the idea of speaking with someone, whether in person or over the phone, extremely uncomfortable. This discomfort forms a major barrier between them and the assistance they require.”
“Through our partnership with ieso, we’re dismantling these barriers and providing an efficient and accessible alternative for our service users.”
ieso Online Therapy offers a unique service that allows users to engage in one-on-one conversations with qualified therapists via text, using their devices such as phones, tablets, or computers. Operating entirely remotely and accessible with an internet connection, ieso’s secure and confidential platform has assisted over 115,000 individuals since its establishment in 2000.
Grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), ieso’s treatments center on making changes to thought patterns and behaviors to enhance emotional well-being. With numerous CBT therapists on their team, this approach aligned seamlessly with the treatments that Therapy For You was already offering.
Prospective users self-refer through the ieso website, after which they are matched with an appropriate therapist. Both parties then coordinate a suitable date for their initial weekly typed therapy session, typically lasting between 30 to 60 minutes.
During the intervals between sessions, users are encouraged to practice exercises and techniques. As treatment progresses, therapists monitor their users’ progress through digital questionnaires. Users also retain access to their past conversations, which can be revisited at any time and remain available for up to 20 years after their discharge from the service.
“The ieso platform is incredibly robust and user-friendly, contributing to its effectiveness for our service users,” notes Black.
“Its structured application of CBT techniques resonates closely with our approach at Therapy For You, making it a seamless addition to our treatment options. We also value the long-term availability of past conversations, as it supports relapse prevention.”
ieso therapists address a broad spectrum of common mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias, sleep issues, social anxiety, and stress.
Therapy For You firmly believes that ieso’s typed therapy has played a pivotal role in providing treatment options for many individuals in North East and South East Essex.
“Various reasons can deter someone from attending in-person therapy sessions,” elucidates Black. “Factors like transportation challenges or busy schedules can be barriers. Additionally, some find it challenging to communicate their thoughts and emotions face-to-face, over the phone, or through video calls. Text-based communication eliminates these obstacles and empowers individuals to express themselves in writing, a mode of communication that many find preferable to speaking.”
“Ultimately, typed therapy empowers individuals to seek support at their own comfort and convenience. It’s a familiar, straightforward approach, and I’m confident it has encouraged numerous individuals to access the support they might have otherwise avoided.”
ieso’s distinctive treatment platform offers several advantages, including appointments available seven days a week from 6 am to 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).
“With 95% of users willing to recommend ieso to their friends and family, it’s clear why,” asserts Black.
“As an organisation that prides itself on the flexibility and diversity of our treatment options, ieso’s platform is a vital component of our service. We are thrilled to offer this alternative to individuals throughout Essex.”