Approximately 2.5 million Canadians will suffer from a trauma disorder at some point in their lives, yet only about half of the individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for a distressing and disabling mental health condition will receive treatment. Too many face significant barriers to accessing therapy, such as stigma, cost, geography, a lack of therapists who are trained in the treatment of trauma, biases (do not know what “biases” means in the context) and more.
That’s why MindBeacon is focused on providing new solutions. While face-to-face Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is considered the gold standard for treatment of trauma disorders, internet-delivered interventions are just as effective, and much more accessible to those in need. Therapist-assisted internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TAiCBT) (which includes Therapist Guided Programs) is designed to assist those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD).
We launched these programs in Ontario back in 2018, and they became available across Canada the following year. We’ve been able to see the direct impact that MindBeacon has had on its clients, but we have also recognized a need for more real-world evidence on the effectiveness of these types of therapies.
How does TAiCBT through Therapist Guided Programs help PTSD and ASD?
To study the effectiveness of our program, we ran a trial with 163 participants. Each participant reported a wide variety of traumatic events ranging from assault, sexual assault and workplace traumas. Each individual completed MindBeacon treatment sessions and submitted self-report assessments.
Their treatments consisted of 12 different modules delivered once per week, or whenever a therapist believed their client was ready for new material. The entire treatment period lasted between 8 and 12 weeks.
The modules included educational readings and interactive worksheets that could be easily completed via phone, desktop, laptop or tablet. These completed worksheets were then shared with each client’s therapist through our secure platform. Our therapists were there to guide each of the participants and support them through their treatment. They offered encouragement, answered questions and gave meaningful feedback.
Over time, our therapists were able to tailor their treatment to each individual’s specific needs. Whether someone was suffering from insomnia, panic attacks or issues with communication, our therapists were able to determine what type of added resources would be most helpful to the individuals they were working with. For example, 90% of those who self-identified as "depressed" received additional, personalized content.
Clients were also able to message their therapists as often as the liked at any time, which helped keep the lines of communication open and foster a supportive relationship between both parties.
At the end of the trial, approximately two-thirds of the group experienced clinically significant benefits, and on average, an almost 34% reduction in PTSD symptoms. This data suggests that MindBeacon’s programs are effective as other first-line treatment for trauma disorders including traditional face-to-face CBT and medications.
How can you access TAiCBT?
If you’re struggling with a trauma disorder, MindBeacon’s Therapist Guided Program gives you the tools you need to manage and reduce your symptoms, and the good news is, the programs are covered by a lot of employee health benefits. If you are a resident of Ontario, the government of Ontario has funded the Therapist Guided Program as well which means it's free for you to use.
If you're ready to get started with therapy and would like to complete your assessment, visit us here.