Spotting The Mindspot Clinic

So I just heard about an online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) website and it’s called the Mindspot Clinic. The service is advertised as “low cost” and a study published in Psychiatric Services seemed to show that it was effective though there were no controls [1]. The authors developed the program but are “…deriving no personal or financial benefit from them and receiving funding from the Australian Government to develop and provide a free national online and telephone-delivered treatment service.” I can’t find the full disclosures without paying $35 for access to the issue.

The information below is copied from the website:

Information For Health Professionals

The MindSpot Clinic provides high quality and convenient online assessment and treatment for adults with anxiety and depression.

  • The MindSpot Clinic is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the federal government, meaning it is a free service for you and your patients
  • The MindSpot team comprises psychologists, psychiatrists, mental-health workers and researchers committed to reducing barriers to effective care
  • Our online courses have been found to be clinically effective in more than 45 clinical trials with over 5,000 participants at our research clinic
  • To date, the MindSpot Clinic has provided services to 35,000 Australians

This looks similar to another service you can find on my blogroll, the MoodGym. I’m always looking for low-cost or free psychotherapy resources which have at least been studied and results published. Psychotherapy is in short supply and the treatment of choice for many of the patients I see, notwithstanding a new report that it might not be as effective as once thought (thanks to Psych Practice blogger for the interesting perspective). Incidentally, while looking for a suitable image for this story I ran across this post about online psychoanalytic psychotherapy.FreudOnline

Analyze that.



  1. Titov, N., et al. (2015). “MindSpot Clinic: An Accessible, Efficient, and Effective Online Treatment Service for Anxiety and Depression.” Psychiatric Services 66(10): 1043-1050.

The main objective of this study was to report the feasibility of delivering online cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) treatments for anxiety and depression in a national public mental health service.

A prospective noncontrolled cohort study was conducted of all patients who began assessment or treatment at the MindSpot Clinic from January through December 2013. Clinic services were used by a representative cross-section of the Australian population. Mean age at assessment was 36.4±13.0 years, and age range was 18–86 years. Patients completed one of four online courses over eight weeks, during which they received weekly support from a therapist via telephone or secure e-mail. Primary outcome measures were the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the seven-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) administered at posttreatment and three months posttreatment.

A total of 10,293 adults who self-identified as having problems with anxiety or depression commenced assessment, and 7,172 completed the assessment and were eligible for analysis. Of these, 2,049 enrolled in a course and 1,471 completed the course, for a course completion rate of 71.8%. Moderate to large noncontrolled effect sizes (Cohen’s d=.67–1.66, 95% confidence interval=.08–2.07) were found from assessment to three-month follow-up. At posttreatment and follow-up, reliable recovery ranged from 46.7% to 51.1%, and deterioration ranged from 1.9% to 3.8%. Mean total therapist time per patient was 111.8±61.6 minutes.

The MindSpot Clinic produced treatment outcomes that were comparable to results from published clinical trials of iCBT. This model of service delivery represents an innovative method of providing accessible, low-cost, effective, and acceptable mental health services to many people who currently are not receiving care.

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