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Monash spearheads ‘whole person’ focus on anxiety and depression

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Monash University has been a driving force behind a ground-breaking ‘whole person’ approach to treating anxiety, depression and similar mental health disorders more effectively and efficiently.

Studies have revealed anxiety and depression are Australia’s most common mental health diagnoses, and 60 to 70% of those with such disorders have multiple diagnoses. They also reveal that only 23.2% of those who seek medical assistance receive the appropriate evidence-based treatment.

Professor Peter Norton, the Director of Translational Research at the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, is co-developer of a new transdiagnostic treatment model that considers a person’s psychological, physical and biological symptoms and emotional challenges as a whole, rather than using diagnosis-specific cognitive behavioural therapy interventions. The new model recognises the commonalities that have been found to exist across anxiety and related disorders, and improves simultaneous outcomes for patients with multiple diagnoses by targeting core common features rather than diagnosis-specific elements.

The treatment not only improves clinicians’ ability to treat the presence of multiple disorders, but provides more tailored, holistic and effective treatment for patients.

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