Does Anxiety Wizard Have Value?
The question of cost and value comes up a lot on social media. How do you value something properly? Now that the Anxiety Wizard Self Help CBT program is fully live, I receive a lot of questions around, ‘what does Anxiety Wizard cost?’. I have had thought about this question, and I think a better question is: ‘does Anxiety Wizard deliver significantly more value than the cost?’
To answer this question let me relate it to a course of face to face CBT treatment with me.
At the beginning of treatment we define the overall cluster of problems. We generally create a recovery road map, then, we break the bigger problems (anxiety, depression or something else) down into smaller chunks and work with each one individually. This is a reliable process and works really well.
It should also be said that I try to cluster problems together so that a particular tool might deal with a whole handful of problems in one go. This saves a lot of time. We generally start with weekly sessions. We focus on things that are working and going in the right direction and things that seem like continuing problems (we also laugh a lot).
Each week there is ongoing homework to be done. As each face to face session is a process of discovery and refinement. We define an aspect of the problem and then we focus our work on it. There are 168 hours in the week. After an hour of CBT with me that leaves 165 hours to fill. What are your going to do to change your life within these hours? The answer is that we allocate or create a tool, you can practice to help you resolve the problem. Typically, we will only use one or two tools at a time. But after a session ends you will have a clear understanding of what you are working on for the coming week, and why you are working on it. We end a session with a feeling of focus and energy to move your life forward.
As an example: let’s say that a client has significant problems with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It will be obvious that worry is a significant problem that needs to be solved. I will say “let’s make the homework for this week to have a zero tolerance for worry. Let’s really work hard to make worry history.” I will allocate one of the worry tools from Anxiety Wizard as the main tool to practice. After about 2 weeks of using worry tools, it will generally happen that the client’s worry is pretty much under control or has completely gone.
Imagine being free of worry! What value would you give to that? As I have described, the process of becoming worry free, for example, it would take about 2-3 face to face sessions of CBT with a rough cost of around £240-£360.
Imagine feeling in full emotional control. Typically, that only takes about 2 face to face sessions, with an estimated cost of £240.
Imagine feeling free of PTSD or being able to walk around feeling safe inside your body. This will generally take about 3-4 face to face sessions with a cost of approximately £360-£480.
The great thing is that, because we are usually working on a weekly meeting schedule, we get effects that build up, week by week. The work gains a momentum.
We always use anxiety and depression symptom scores as a way of measuring clinical outcomes. So generally, after about 6 weeks of face to face meetings at a cost of about £720, I expect and usually see that clinical scores for both anxiety and depression have significantly reduced: from severe clinical anxiety, to mild; and/or from severe clinical depression, to mild. Also, it is possible that the scores may have fallen into the ‘cured’ category - I would certainly expect to see this after 8-10 sessions.
The cost of 10 face to face CBT sessions with me is roughly £1200. Does this represent value for money? If you could be free of anxiety and depression for £1200, would that represent value to you?
To help you decide, ask yourself; what does anxiety and depression cost you? Time off work; damaged relationships, years of high stress, mental turmoil and upset, unhappiness, long term medication and its side effects. What does your own misery cost you in lost happiness?
Researchers consider that one person with depression costs the economy between £22,000 - £30,000 per year. Of course, this cannot possibly address the human cost to the individual. Nevertheless, based purely on the economic cost, treatment with me would seem like good value for money. Incidentally this was also part of the rationale for the creation of the NHS Talking Therapies Service. It was thought cost effective for the country to treat people with anxiety and depression. So why suffer if you can afford to have face to face CBT and feel great again?
This brings us to the value of Anxiety Wizard. I have taken all my clinical experience and knowledge about defining clinical problems and solving them and incorporated it into Anxiety Wizard. Furthermore, I have added all the clinical tools that I have created over my many years of practice into Anxiety Wizard. And, I continue to add more tools as I create them.
At present, there are 164 videos and audios. This gives you everything you would get in therapy with me, costing at least £1200, with the same expected outcomes.
Finally, I do get asked, ‘why is it not completely free?’ ‘Why should I have to pay for it?’ ‘The NHS is free!’ Well, the NHS is not free. Everyone who pays tax, pays for the NHS. As an example, a worker earning approximately £25,000 will pay £1,800 per year into the NHS, that’s £150 per month.
Also, as a general principle, people do not seem to value what they do not pay for, because paying for something creates the concept of commitment. Face to face therapy, without commitment, would not work. The desire to be fit, but without the commitment to exercise will not work. Similarly, Self Help CBT without commitment will not work. Quite simply, paying for the program creates commitment.
However, I have made Anxiety Wizard inexpensive to that virtually everyone can afford the program. I don't smoke, but Anxiety Wizard costs less than a pack of cigarettes per week, or in the ball park of 3 Starbucks.
Based on years of clinical practice, I have worked hard to ensure the program is interesting and engaging, as well as clinically effective, so that once you start your journey with commitment, you will be carried along to the end and achieve the outcome you want.
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