Published on 7 June 2016
Adults who are persistently anxious can now seek help through a ‘Worry Busters’ support group offered by the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The group has been established as part of a research project by USC Master of Psychology (Clinical) students Jessica Godfrey and Maddie Stoddart to evaluate the effectiveness of two therapies – cognitive-behavioural and metacognitive – for people with generalised anxiety.
Jessica Godfrey said people with generalised anxiety felt excessively worried or anxious most days about a number of different events or activities.
“This means their worries can change from day to day,” Miss Godfrey said. “In addition, they find their worry difficult to control and this can impact on their ability to function in important areas of their lives, such as work or study.”
The therapy sessions will run in blocks of six weekly sessions at USC’s Sippy Downs campus, under the supervision of Professor of Psychology Mary Katsikitis and Lecturer in Clinical Psychology Dr Lee Kannis-Dymand.
Participants will be randomly assigned to either cognitive-behavioural therapy or metacognitive therapy groups.
Miss Godfrey said the cognitive-behavioural therapy, which was currently the main treatment for anxiety disorders, would target the content of worrisome thoughts, which could change from situation to situation.
“The metacognitive therapy will target the process of worry itself or the factors that keep worry going for participants,” she said.
Maddie Stoddart said the findings would also help to determine whether group therapy was a more viable, cost-effective alternative to individual metacognitive therapy.
“Undertaking one-on-one therapy can be daunting for a client and it is time-consuming, which can limit the amount of people that clinicians can access and can leave a lot of anxious people waiting for treatment.
“Group therapy also offers the additional bonus of support from other members of the group, which can enhance treatment effects,” she said.
The sessions will involve interactive discussions on anxiety experiences, supportive counselling and therapeutic strategies to target worry, as well as the provision of resource materials.
For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 0416 598 237. Information is also available on facebook.com/Free-Group-Therapy-for-Anxiety-Sunshine-Coast
— Clare McKay