After three years in development, Adelaide-based clinical psychologist Sally Skewes and IT specialist Joseph Skewes have launched Secure Nest; the world’s first online tool to support schema therapy clients and therapists.
This groundbreaking online platform aims to empower individuals to change negative life patterns or themes in thinking, and the related emotions and behaviours. A negative life pattern could include experiencing anxiety in particular situations as a result of past events.
Schema therapy was developed to help individuals with personality disorders and those who have experienced limited success with other treatments. It assists them to find relief by identifying emotional triggers and resulting behavioural patterns.
Co-Founder Sally Skewes says the platform can be used by both therapists and clients.
“We really wanted a place where clients can go to access therapy tools, even between sessions, to enhance their therapy experience, as well as provide an online framework for schema therapists,” she says.
“Secure Nest can be used to support individual schema therapy, group schema therapy and as a self-help tool.”
“The platform was designed for those who are interested in understanding what drives emotional, thinking and behavioural patterns, and how these patterns can be changed.”
“With schema therapy in high demand, the waiting period can be up to 12 months. Because our program can be used straight away by clients who are waiting to be treated, it can reduce the learning curve when therapy begins.”
Secure Nest offers a free trial account (at securenest.org) and the features include:
- A diary and forms that allow the client to log information about their progress.
- A group workspace, for clients receiving group schema therapy, to provide online support between sessions. Therapists can also share content and clients can support each other between sessions.
- Inbuilt charts and easy to access completed activities, allowing therapists and clients to monitor treatment progression.
- Secure storage for client and therapist files.
- A three-week self-education program for individuals (not requiring a therapist).
The self-education program as part of this platform is accessible to anyone wanting to learn about schema therapy and how it can help them. According to Mrs Skewes, “It’s through experiences, like this self-education program offers, that people can make changes in their lives and relationships.”
Renowned schema therapist and field innovator, Michiel van Vreeswijk (The Netherlands), approached Secure Nest in 2017, and later joined the company as an advisor. G-kracht Mental Health Care Institute’s Chief Executive, Mr van Vreeswijk has also been involved with the platform, contributing to a range of new features.
Mr van Vreeswijk says the platform finally provides a safe space for therapists and clients.
“Now group schema therapists can offer their clients a safe and creative platform, encouraging contact with each other and working together on changing negative behavioural patterns.”
In 2017, Secure Nest were recipients of a $50,000 grant as part of the University of South Australia’s Venture Catalyst program through the Innovation & Collaboration Centre, giving Secure Nest the funding boost required to flourish into a fully-fledged mental health tool.