Official Launch of Secure Nest

Joseph Skewes - Sally Skewes - Michiel van Vreeswijk
To celebrate our official launch we wanted to share a short summary of our journey to date

[Pictured above, The Secure Nest Team: Joseph Skewes (left), Sally Skewes (middle), Michiel van Vreeswijk (right)]

Today marks the official launch of Secure Nest. We soft launched some of our new features one month ago and have been progressively updating the site with additional content since.

While this marks a major milestone and the culmination of years of work, we will continue to develop the platform content and add or improve features, increasing the long term value for our users.

To celebrate this occasion we wanted to share a short summary of our journey to date:

As a clinical psychologist Sally Skewes often speaks about how helpful schema therapy has been in changing lifelong problems for her clients. IT specialist, Joseph Skewes, went looking for an online tool which could support Sally and her clients and was surprised when he didn’t find any. Over 2015-2016 Sally and Joseph worked together to identify schema therapy tools which could be digitalised and then developed an online platform (Secure Nest) which could assist schema therapists and make schema therapy more accessible for clients.

“We really wanted a place where clients can go to access therapy tools, even between sessions, to enhance their therapy experience, as well as provide an online framework for schema therapists.”
– Sally Skewes

In 2016 a qualitative pilot study looking at user experience found a number of benefits, including meeting clients’ needs between sessions and providing a sense of ongoing contact, connection, and sharing (read a longer summary in our article, The Importance Of eHealth For Schema Therapy). However, areas for improvement were also identified. There was a need to provide more content that therapists could easily link into their clients’ workspace. It also became obvious that there was a large demand for schema therapy information in situations where an individual wasn’t already seeing a therapist. We wanted to address these shortcomings.

In 2017 there was a lot going on behind the scenes as the co-founders set the stage for developing Secure Nest into a fully-fledged mental health tool. The ideas and business plan were refined as part of the Venture Catalyst program in the Innovation and Collaboration Centre at the University of South Australia and Secure Nest was awarded $50,000 in funding through the program’s Social Enterprise stream.

Both Sally and Joseph also participated in the Adelaide University eChallenge, which included a series of workshops which takes entrepreneurs through the end-to-end process of developing an idea (solving a problem) and turning it into a business.

In late 2017 Joseph Skewes successfully applied for (and recently graduated from) the South Australian Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (SAYES). The program, which consisted of workshops and mentoring sessions, was helpful in developing the business and networking with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

The co-founders were also approached by schema therapist and CEO of G-kracht Mental Health Care Institute (Netherlands), Michiel van Vreeswijk, who is well-known for innovating in schema therapy, including his work with short-term group schema therapy. He joined the Secure Nest team as an advisor and contributed to a range of new features, including the self-education program and group therapy workspace.

“Now schema group therapists can offer their clients a safe and creative platform, encouraging contact with each other and working together on changing schemas and maladaptive modes.”
– Michiel van Vreeswijk

Most of 2018 was spent designing and building the new features we are now launching. Secure Nest was designed and built from the ground up as a custom web application, so adding new features takes planning and time. Many of the new features we are adding (or have recently improved) have come about through interactions with our customers, so we would encourage you to reach out if you have ideas for improvements, new features or content you would like to see.

The new features Secure Nest are releasing as part of this launch include:

* Group Nest: A group schema therapy workspace allowing therapists to create a shared workspace for clients in group schema therapy. This provides an area where therapists can share content and clients can support each other between sessions.

* Library: Module based content provides a means by which individuals can complete a three-week schema therapy self-education program or therapists can assign specific modules to their clients. There are also special modules published specifically to support schema therapists.

* Data Control: Options to delete an account and export personal information, providing greater control for users over their data and bringing the platform in line with requirements for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

* Everything else: Integration of an improved email system (allowing you to choose the frequency of notifications), empowering schema therapy clients with increased transparency and control, help menus which provide instructions for using the features, new Ratings (WHO-5 & Mode Management) and more.

“It’s through experiences, like this self-education program offers, that people can make changes in their lives and relationships.”
– Sally Skewes

Secure Nest is designed for anyone who is interested in understanding what drives emotional, thinking and behavioural patterns, and how patterns can be changed. Secure Nest can be used to support individual schema therapy, group schema therapy and as a self-help tool.

We look forward to having you with us on our continuing journey. We invite you to create a free trial account (individuals and therapists) or you are welcome to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date (without having an account) using the subscribe form on this page.

The Secure Nest Team


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Secure Nest provides personalised online therapy tools designed specifically for schema therapy. Read more here or register for your free trial.