Programs for adults

Programs for adults

About the Stepped Care Effectiveness Trial for Ageing Adults
(STOP Trial)

In this research trial we are comparing two ways of delivering psychological interventions to assist older adults to manage feelings of worry and low mood. Both options will teach older adults psychological techniques to reduce these symptoms. In one option, treatment will be delivered face-to-face (or remotely using video conferencing or telephone) for 10 x 1 hour sessions by psychologists working in the Centre for Emotional Health Clinic at Macquarie University. In the second option, treatment will be delivered in a stepped approach starting with self-directed treatment (via an internet program or workbook) supported by brief weekly calls for 10 weeks. Then if needed, people will then receive up to a further 10 weekly sessions with a psychologist either face-to-face or via video conferencing.

Who is it for?

This treatment program is designed for older adults, aged 65 years and older, who might be experiencing some worry, anxiety or low mood.

Do you find it hard to stop worrying?

Do you find it hard to meet new people or are you avoiding things because you are nervous?

Do you feel grumpy and irritable?

Do you feel flat?

Are you tired all the time, or don’t seem to want to do the things you used to enjoy?

This brochure can help you recognise symptoms of worry, anxiety, depression and low mood. These symptoms can be hard to detect in older adulthood.

What does it involve?

This program is part of a clinical trial. Therefore, the first step will be completing an intake call with one of the research assistants. They will assess whether they think the program is likely to be of benefit to you. Then we will make an appointment for you to do a clinical assessment (either face-to-face or via video conference or telephone) to understand more about your symptoms and personal circumstances. Then you will receive one of the two treatment options. As this is a research trial, there will be additional assessments for you to complete at the end of treatment, as well as at various follow up points so we can evaluate if the benefits are maintained for the long-term.

To learn more please see the STOP information flyer. For more information contact: or call (02) 9850 8715

Program costs

There are NO costs for participating. This clinical trial is co-funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Beyond Blue.

How can I participate?

Contact: or call (02) 9850 8715

Connections, social anxiety program is based on 15 years of research conducted at the Centre for Emotional Health. The program is for people who fear being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others and adults who are chronically shy, unable to speak up or socialise without anxiety or those with a paralysing fear of public speaking. This program looks to challenge the thinking and behaviour that contributes to social phobia.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 or email

Please note below our updated fees, effective January 2020:

Clinician TypeSession TypeUpfront CostsMedicare Rebate
Registered PsychologistStandard$190$86.15
Clinical PsychologistStandard$230 - $260$126.50

Review the Social Connections Flyer for more information.

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.

Enquiry form

In case of an emergency or crisis please contact:

NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 or 
Lifeline – 13 11 14

Referrers (GPs, Paediatricians, Psychiatrists): please provide a completed copy of this form PDF, 891.33 KB to your patient, or send through to us via post/fax/email, along with a copy of any plans you wish to provide.

For all non-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

Content owner: Centre for Emotional Health Last updated: 11 Jun 2020 2:08pm

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