Positive Mental Training and the Feeling Good App in the NHS
NHS Primary Care
The Feeling Good App contains the programme Positive Mental Training, which has been used clinically in the NHS for the last 14 years. It is an evidence based, supervised self help, psychotherapeutic programme for emotional distress, containing a modular sequence of audio tracks, incorporating relaxation, visualisation and positive priming which not only aids recovery from emotional distress but also improves access to positive memories, confidence and problem solving skills. Positive Mental Training is derived from sports psychology and positive psychology. It is a non-stigmatising, skills based approach to mental wellbeing, that builds resilience through increasing access to positive emotions.
The neuroscience behind the effectiveness of this Positive Mental Training is very interesting and is covered in our stimulating workshops, webinars and e-modules. These aim is to give participants the knowledge and skills to start using the programme immediately as a treatment option for their patients and to signpost staff and colleagues to. Many NHS workers use the programme to benefit their personal wellbeing, aiding sleep, confidence and generally boosting their feelings of job satisfaction and coping.
Positive Mental Training is the core programme , called Feeling Good for Life, on the Feeling Good: positive mindset app. This app is safe, easy to use and available via the IOS or Android app . The Feeling Good App is approved by the NHS Digital Library and was one of 70 apps for 70 years of the NHS.
The programme is designed to be used as part of a normal GP consultation and has been easily fitted into other health professionals working patterns.
Established by the research as safe and effective in depression, clinical staff from many specialities have used it and found it very effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders and other conditions, particularly Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) and chronic pain. It has also been established as effective in the treatment of mental health referrals in Occupational Medicine, significantly reducing burnout and improving mental health indices.
Over 800 doctors and over 600 other primary care professionals have been trained in its use since 2006 and over 100,000 patients have been given the programme through the NHS.
A major benefit of the training is that many of the staff, who train to give it out, use it for themselves (see survey from Halton and St Helens) and thereby boost their own coping skills. Positive Mental Training is based on a developmental rather than a clinical model, promoting resilience rather than focusing on thinking errors. It was developed from Olympic sports training and is thus not stigmatising in any way.
The training sessions are subject to continuous evaluation through end of session evaluation sheets, anonymous surveys and a quality review process. The training workshops are rated very highly by participants.
For a useful summary of mental training in primary care go to the RCGP News feature feb 2011
Comments from workshop participants:
- ‘simple to understand and take on board’
- ‘very high quality training’ ‘
- exceeded (my learning objectives and expectations) ..thought it might be a bit mumbo jumbo – nice to see ‘scientific’ background to this technique’
- ‘a completely novel and instant way of resolving a variety of stress related issues without drugs’
- ‘excellent enjoyable mix of theory and practice’