Program specific questions

Program content

How can I make sure I get allocated into one of the brain training condition?

Everyone will be randomly assigned to one of the three groups being tested — you are not able choose which group you are assigned to. This is necessary so the researchers can scientifically test how well each condition works. At the end of the study, if you were not in one of the brain training conditions, you will then be given the opportunity to complete the one of the training conditions.

I’ve completed a few sessions and am still feeling anxious and drinking alcohol to cope. Is the program not working for me?

Thinking person

Don’t give up! People assigned to the training conditions may not notice changes right away, though this varies by person. It can take time to learn how to use what you are learning in the sessions in your own life. It is important to keep completing the sessions and to honestly and accurately report your feelings throughout the program. You are helping us learn what works best for young people with anxiety and drinking problems.

What if I miss a session? Can I do an additional one the following week?

Try to complete two sessions each week. We will send you email reminders to help you remember when you should complete your next session. If you miss a session, complete it as soon as you have time (though we ask you to always leave at least one day between sessions).

Why is the training so repetitive?

As with other habits (such as typing, driving or cycling), repeated exercise (or in this case repetitive completion of a brain training task) allows you to develop new automatic thoughts and behaviours. Although you may initially find it exhausting (and perhaps boring) training a lot, exercising your automatic thoughts and behaviours is like exercising your muscles: it requires regular, repeated exercise. Therefore, we recommend you complete all 10 training sessions.

Muscle metaphor

Where and when can I do the sessions?

When and where can i do CBM

You can complete this program wherever and whenever you would like, as long as you have access to an Internet connection (through a PC or computer). We strongly recommend that you complete the tasks when you are in a reasonably quiet place and able to pay full attention to them.

Who created this program?

Researchers from the University of Sydney created these programs, but they were adapted from brain training tasks that have usually been tested in research laboratories. As clinical scientists, we are interested in studying how well the programs work in the real world. In the long run, we want to create a cost-effective and accessible mental health treatment.

Is this really going to change my anxiety and drinking?

This is an experimental study, so the brain training programs are still in the testing phase. However, prior research indicates it may be able to reduce feelings of anxiety and gain control over your drinking by completing multiple training sessions, in addition to your normal treatment. Even if you are not assigned to the training task condition, you will be given the opportunity to complete it after the 3-month follow-up assessment.

will this change my anxiety

I’m already receiving treatment for my anxiety and/or alcohol use. Can I still use this program?

Yes, in fact we require people to be seeing a health professional in order to participate in the current study. Before you begin, you will be asked a series of questions about your mental health – please let us know if you are already receiving treatment, what type of treatment you are receiving, and how frequently.

When trying to complete word fragments or answer questions during the brain training task (following each of the brief stories), the program keeps telling me that my answer is incorrect. What do I do?

Please complete the word fragments and answer the questions based only on information given to you in the stories. Remember that it is essential that you fully involve yourself as if the events described are really happening to you, so your answers should reflect that.

Need help now?

If you or someone else is feeling suicidal, you should seek immediate help. There are people and services who can help. See the Urgent Help section of the site for more information. Note that the Re-Train Your Brain program is not appropriate for crisis help.


  • University of Sydney
  • Rotary health
  • Premise