Ieso Digital Health focuses on providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our Clinical Program Director, Sarah Bateup, explains what internet-enabled CBT is here.
CBT helps people understand the links between thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions. Often when we are unwell, the way we think feel and behave changes and we can get stuck in a vicious circle. CBT can help break this cycle.
CBT can help many common mental health illnesses including anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders. It can also help people who have chronic physical health problems, medically unexplained symptoms or a mild learning disability/cognitive impairment alongside depression or anxiety.
You do not have to have been previously diagnosed to use our service.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is helpful for many, but not all, people.
People who particularly benefit from our service include:
people who are embarrassed or ashamed about having a mental health problem,
people who need appointments outside of working hours,
parents and care givers who cannot organize cover to attend meetings,
people with limited mobility or communication aid users,
people in remote areas.
It is not suitable for people with a history of mental illness who require the continuation of existing professional relationships or for someone who has, or has had in the past, serious thoughts of taking their own life. If you are currently having these thoughts, please call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you. The questionnaires that you fill out, along with your therapist’s assessment, will determine if therapy via written conversation is appropriate for you.
You will be communicating with your therapist purely via written (typed) conversation. Once we have confirmed your eligibility, you will be matched with a therapist. They will set up an appointment for you when you are available. Appointments are normally once a week, for between 4 to 8 weeks, and are 30 or 60 minutes in length.
You will also be given homework to do outside of sessions that your therapist will review. To see a demonstration of how the service works, watch this video.
It's well known that communication by written (typed) conversation removes pressure from conversations. Unlike face-to-face and telephone conversations, you have time to reflect on the question and think about an answer in your own time. The act of typing an answer means that the process becomes structured, giving you time to develop your thoughts before sending.
Using written conversation is both beneficial in terms of your level of comfort in talking about yourself and the success of the therapy. We have substantial clinical evidence for our written conversation approach.
Because therapy is text-based you can keep a copy of each conversation. This transcript can be downloaded by you for review and reflection at any time - this is a valuable therapy tool.
Our system doesn't require a high-speed internet connection, so people with older computers and slow connection speeds can access our service without any difficulty.
You can attend your therapy anywhere you can connect to the internet and can schedule appointments at the time you want. Your therapist will benefit from high levels of support from their supervisor.
You can take advantage of written communication to remember things and to review your treatment at any time, even after your appointments have ended.
Risks include the internet dis-connecting and interrupting services for a time. In the event of your internet disconnecting, your therapy appointment may be interrupted. There may be potential for loss of information (which is also a risk of in-person care). Other risks are similar to in-person therapy, such as feelings of discomfort while working on personal issues and making changes that may be good for you but that significant others in your life are not used to.
Therapy with Ieso is not currently provided over the phone. Therapy is delivered in real-time using the Ieso method of written (typed) conversation. At your scheduled appointment time, you meet with a licensed therapist in a secure, online therapy room, where you instant message with your therapist.
The number of appointments which might be appropriate for you can be discussed with your therapist after your first appointment. On average, patients have 6 sessions with us, but this can be longer or shorter depending on what you and your therapist decide is most suitable.
The information that you provide during registration helps us to verify your identity and check your eligibility for our services. We will use your zipcode, name and date of birth to ensure that you are in a covered location, of the correct age and are covered by accepted insurance providers. You can check whether you are eligible here.
At this time, the Ieso service is only available to individuals whom are covered by Medicaid only. Other insurance includes, but is not limited to Medicare and private insurance.
Absolutely not. If you have access to the internet and know how to send an email, you should be fine using our service. Our oldest patient was 88 years old – this is a service for people of all ages.
Between appointments you may be asked to do 'homework' which usually means thinking about topics suggested by your therapist, and making notes. These are very helpful to keep focused and will be discussed at your next appointment. You will also be asked to fill in some standard assessment questionnaires to help your therapist to understand your progress. When you fill out these questionnaires, look out for theinformation near them that explains what they are for and how they work.
No. If you think you need medications, we can help to coordinate with your primary care provider or another medication prescriber.
If you are in crisis and do not yet have an Ieso therapist, call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you. If you have an Ieso therapist, contact them using the details in your crisis plan.
If you do not feel like you are benefiting from therapy, or would like to have face-to-face treatment, please let us know and we will discharge you. The best way to reach other services is to contact your Behavioral Health Organization to find out about the alternative services they provide. If you request, we can share information about the treatment we have already provided for you with your new provider.
If you miss a session, please message your Ieso therapist as soon as possible to rearrange. Please use the messaging service that is on the therapy website. If you miss two consecutive appointments you will be discharged from the service. This will not affect you using our service again in the future, or using other services.
Other than in a mental health emergency, the best way to contact your therapist outside of scheduled sessions is by using the messaging system on the therapy website. Generally, you can expect a response within 48 hours. If it is an emergency, you can contact your therapist using the details provided in your crisis plan.
We work very hard to match our therapists and clients suitably and sensitively. We believe that it is most beneficial to stay with one therapist to provide continuity and minimal disruption to your therapy program. We have a lot of experience in this area and, as a result, clients generally don’t request different therapists. However, if for any reason you are unhappy or dissatisfied, the opportunity to change your therapist is available.
Before starting treatment, your therapist will send you some information about their professional background and licensure. Ieso uses only the following licensed psychotherapists for our provision of CBT services:
- Licensed Psychologist
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Licensed Professional Counselor
A Licensed Psychologist must hold a doctorate degree in psychology and have one year of post-doctoral supervision. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Professional Counselor must hold a masters degree in their profession and have two years of post-masters supervision.
All Ieso therapists have specific CBT training and experience, and receive CBT supervision from a CBT expert in the field.