A better way to treat depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common mental illnesses, and for people living with them, the symptoms can have a significant impact on their quality of life and day-to-day functioning.

A new RMIT University study is investigating two group therapy treatments to determine which is more effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

The study will compare Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the more established treatment, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Doctor and Master of Psychology students Monique Slevison and Sarah Bourchier need volunteers over the age of 18 for a clinical trial, which will involve eight group sessions of either ACT or CBT.

“ACT is a new type of psychological therapy that helps people deal mindfully with difficult thoughts and feelings so that they can focus on doing things that are important in their lives,” Ms Bourchier said.

“Several studies have shown that this treatment works for depression and anxiety, but more research needs to be conducted to see if ACT is as effective as CBT – the current psychological treatment of choice for anxiety and depression.

“CBT is based on the idea that how we think about ourselves, the world and other people can influence the way we behave and feel.”

The sessions are free and will be held at the RMIT Psychology Clinic in Bundoora. They will run for two hours each week for eight weeks.

To volunteer or find out more information phone (03) 9925 7603 or email.

For interviews or comment: Sarah Bourchier on 0405 836 271 or Monique Slevison on 0416 510 068, at the School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, or email [email protected].

For media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Louise Handran, (03) 9925 9088.