A University of Salford student has come up with a solution to the mental health issues caused by the pandemic.
Therapy Unboxed is the first therapy subscription box on the market, created by Counselling and Psychotherapy master’s student, Maxine Grundy.
The self-help subscription boxes include six boxes, all with different focuses such as feelings, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours etc, and are created to act as assistance to counselling. They include tools and a guide for how to use them.
For example, the box on emotions includes cards defining feelings, a feelings tracker and guide explaining where emotions come from and why we feel them, among other items. The aim is for the user to become more aware of their own emotions and hopefully help get back on track.
“Whilst doing my counselling placement, I realised that when people come for face-to-face counselling, a lot of them don’t feel good about themselves and they don’t know why they feel like that,” Maxine says.
She noted that a lot of people will spend large sums of money on initial counselling sessions before they even find out what the problem is.
“The idea with these boxes,” she continued, “is to help people identify what the root cause is, what the issues are and what about their life they want to work on. And by the end of it, one of two things will happen.
“Either they will resolve it themselves because the self-help has helped, or they would be in a position where, if they went to face-to-face counselling, they will know what they want to work on and do so rather than spending money on figuring it out.”
What’s in the box?
- A guide on emotions
- I’ve got a feeling… cards
- The ‘Feel-lings’ dolls
- The Wheel of Feels tracker
- Felt Tips
All the contents of the box are based on recognised counselling and psychotherapy theory and approaches and created by a qualified counsellor, psychologist and professional coach,
The boxes are not designed to replace the concept of counselling, though depending on how self-aware people are, they may find it worked and they won’t have to see someone.
Maxine explained: “Let’s say you get to the end of the boxes and find they haven’t helped completely, then it would recommend they go to face-to-face counselling. The boxes may highlight the issue, such as anxiety, but they won’t solve it.”
In addition to the subscription boxes, Maxine will also be offering face-to-face counselling for those in Manchester on her website, or phone/video call counselling for others.
Whilst developing Therapy Unboxed, Maxine has been part of the University of Salford’s business incubator, Launch@ Salford. Launch was set up in 2018 with the idea of aiding students and alumni in developing their own business. As part of a six-month support programme, users get access to a plethora of support from the team, including training, guidance, office space and financial aid.
“Launch has given me that network of people to speak through my cohort,” Maxine says. “There’s 30 other people in a very similar position to me, so having that community of people in the same boat is nice.
“Launch has helped focus my attention on the correct steps to follow when setting up a business. I had skipped over parts I was unsure about and neglected some of the fundamentals because I didn’t know where to start. They have also made me aware of different funding and grant options for start-ups. The whole team has been extremely supportive.”
Further down the line, Maxine wants to develop specialised boxes for different issues such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders. The idea would be to seek help from the initial subscription, then to follow up with a specialised box.