Programs for adults 18+

Programs for adults 18+

Connections, social anxiety program is based on 15 years of research conducted at the Centre for Emotional Health. The program uses a cognitive behavioural approach where you learn skills to change your focus in social situations, to fairly evaluate your thoughts and beliefs, to gradually face difficult situations and to adjust your coping strategies.  The psychologist who works with you on the program will assist you to apply the skills in your everyday life.

Is this program for me?

This program is designed for people who experience anxiety in social and performance situations such as anxiety that arises when interacting with people, when giving presentations or during social events. Much of the time the social anxiety will be such that people prefer to avoid situations that cause anxiety and this leads to distress, an inability to perform well at work or education or it may place limits on friendships and everyday interactions in the community.

What is the format?

Connections is a 12 week program offered on an individual basis with sessions typically scheduled once per week. We have chosen to offer an individual approach rather than group approach as research indicates that response to treatment is better following individual therapy, and additionally provides clients with better flexibility for treatment to be adapted to their specific needs.

How do I become involved?


The first step involves a short phone intake. During this discussion we will check that the areas that you are struggling with fit with what the program offers and also check for additional problems that are not able to be addressed by our clinic such as clients who need crisis services, who experiences psychosis or who are drug or alcohol dependent.


Next, we request you come to the Clinic for a 1-2 hour assessment. At this assessment we will discuss in detail your current concerns and what you would like to gain from the program. Occasionally after the assessment we may feel that a different program or service is better suited to your need. If this occurs we will provide recommendations and referral.


After assessment you will begin individual treatment sessions. We offer sessions with registered and clinical psychologists.

Who do I talk to if I want to know more?

If you would like to talk with our team about participating in the social anxiety program, Connections, please call us on 02 9850 8711.

Additional information in this flyer.

Who is this program for?

  • Do you worry a lot about family, finances or relationships?
  • Do you get easily stressed out and nervous?
  • Do you feel down?
  • Do you not enjoy activities you used to take pleasure in?

Anxiety and low mood can affect all areas of your life, whether at home, at work, or your relationships. The program is for older adults 65 years of age or older who experience anxiety and low mood to the extent that it interferes in their lives. You need to experience both anxiety and low mood in order to be accepted as suitable for the study.

What Treatment Options are there for Older Adults Concerned about Healthy Ageing?

The Centre for Emotional Health Clinic is evaluating two treatment programs that aim to reduce depression and anxiety in older adults, and improve lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol use, being sedentary and overweight, and having a lack of social and mental stimulation. Targeting depression, anxiety, and these lifestyle factors will help with ageing happier and healthier, and may also reduce risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline.

If you choose to participate in this program you will have access to the 16 session Ageing Wisely Program.  Half of the participants in the study will receive a face-to-face version of this therapy at Macquarie University.  The other half of the participants will receive skills from the Ageing Wisely Program in a work-at-home format with regular phone calls from our clinicians to give you support. Both versions of the program cover similar skills, and we expect them both to be helpful in reducing anxiety and low mood and increasing positive lifestyle changes.

In addition to the weekly individual treatment program, you will also complete two assessment sessions – one before the program commences and one at the completion of the program. The total time commitment to participate in the program is a maximum of 18 weeks.

How Do I Get Involved in the Program?

Step 1: Contact the clinic (9850 8711) to inform our team of your interest in our study. An appointment will be made for our intake officer to contact you and conduct a short telephone interview to briefly discuss your current concerns.

Step 2: If we feel that our program may be able to help you we will arrange a face to face assessment interview with one of our psychologists. This assessment will involve discussing your current concerns as well as related emotional and physical health problems. You will also be asked to complete a test of attention, memory and language skills. Together, this should take approximately 3 to 4 hours. At the end of the assessment, if it is decided that the program is unlikely to be of benefit to you, we will arrange a suitable referral for you. If it is decided that it would be of benefit, you will be offered a place in the program.

Step 3: If you choose to participate, you will be randomly allocated to receive either the face-to-face OR the work-at-home version of the program.  You will not be able to choose which group you are in because random allocation works like drawing names out of a hat.

Step 4: A time will be arranged for the following week for you to start the weekly sessions, either working at home, or with one of our psychologist.

Step 5: You will be asked to attend a follow-up assessment session immediately after the end of the treatment program, so we can assess any changes in your emotional health and wellbeing. This follow-up session is critical for allowing us to determine the impact that treatment has had on your symptoms of anxiety and low mood, and reducing any risk factors for cognitive decline.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

There is NO cost for participating in this trial.

Who Do I Talk to for More Information?

Please contact the Centre for Emotional Health Clinic on (02) 9850 8711 for more information about the Happy Healthy Ageing study.

A registered or clinical psychologist will conduct an assessment to determine your specific needs and construct a treatment plan informed by latest research.

For further information on our individual therapy services for adults, please see this flyer PDF, 148.37 KB.

Enquiry form

In case of an emergency or crisis please contact: 

NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 or 
Lifeline – 131144

For all none urgent requests, please fill in the form below or phone 02 9850 8711.

Location and hours

The Australian Hearing Hub
Level 1, 16 University Ave
Macquarie University NSW 2109

View map and directions

Clinic hours
Monday to Thursday: 9am – 7pm
Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Phone: 02 9850 8711
Fax: 02 9850 6578 


Crisis service
NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
Lifeline – 131144

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