Big White Wall (BWW)


Big White Wall (BWW) provides a SupportNetwork, GuidedSupport and LiveTherapy designed to hep individuals experiencing stress, depression or anxiety. The SupportNetwork provides anonymous peer and community support, facilitated by trained and supervised staff and clinicians, who are online 24/7. The service utilises the principles of social networking and members can access self testing and a wide range of explanatory and self help materials, art and writing therapies, psycho-educational and self-help groups. GuidedSupport can also be run for individuals and groups, led by staff counsellors or therapists. Additionally, BWW offers real time LiveTherapy from accredited, experienced therapists, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, person-centred counselling and integrative counselling. Access to all of the services is restricted to members and there is a fee to join (except for areas in which BWW is provided free by the NHS and for members of the UK Armed Forces Community.

Service URL:
Agency Responsible:
Big White Wall & Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.


Intervention Types:
Educational (primarily educational material or psychoeducation), Psychological – CBT and Psychological – IPT. Also art and writing therapy, person-centred counselling and integrative counselling
Course Length:
Long (more than 5 modules).
Support Option:
Clinical support. And peer support

Target Audience

Primary Categories:
Depression, Stress and Generalised anxiety disorder. Also PTSD
Target Audiences:
Adult and Young Adult. 16 years +


Fee-based. BWW is free to join for individuals who live in certain parts of the UK, and free for members of the UK Armed Forces Community. Everybody else has to pay a small subscription fee. LiveTherapy sessions are paid for separately.
Other. Registration and (if applicable) fee required
Contact Details:

Research evidence

Research Trials:
Research RCTs:
Outcome Summary:

An initial feasibility study of BWW involved 24 users randomly allocated to one of three conditions with access to different components of BWW. Across the sample, there was a significant reduction in reported levels of both depression and anxiety - with an indication recovery was greatest among users with access to therapist-facilitated group therapy plus access to the main site. Therefore, this study provided some initial evidence in support of the site's effectiveness, but further controlled studies are required to improve this evidence-base. Indeed, independent trials of BWW are underway at two major UK universities, and the results will be available in due course.

Additionally, details of an independent (but not peer reviewed) review of BWW's services is also available on their website.


Recommended rating, reviewer 1:

There is evidence that the site might work. More conclusive studies are needed.
Recommended rating, reviewer 2:

There is evidence that the site might work. More conclusive studies are needed.

Read more about Beacon's Smiley Rating System.

Research paper citations

Lemma, A. and Fonagy, P. (2012) Feasibility study of a psychodynamic online group intervention for depression. Psychoanalytic Psychology [ahead of print]

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Last Updated: November 30th 2012