Mental Health


Oxford Diploma in Understanding and Overcoming Depression

Treat Depression, Beat Anxiety With Theatre : Treat Anxiety and Depression : Lift Depression & Beat Anxiety With Cinema

4.09 (84 reviews)


33.5 hours


May 2021

Last Update
Regular Price

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What you will learn

Understand what depression is and how to prevent it in the future.

Understand and apply the Linden Method

Understand how improvisation can be a complement to therapy for depression and anxiety

Cry! Understand why some films make us cry - and that may be good for us!

Understand how acting puts a strain on performers

Appreciate how films – and location – my affect your mood

Understand more about crowdfunding for a film, see the trailer and then the final film

Understand the thoughts behind the film via an interview with the producer

Greater emotional resilience!

Understand about nutrition and depression – what to eat, what to avoid

Augment your happiness!

Select the RIGHT type of EXERCISE to reduce depression!

Understand about thoughts, mental health and emotional wellbeing

Understand how CBT may be used to treat yourself for depression phobias and how to treat anxiety disorders

Understand how to apply for funding and how the money is invested

Understand solution-focused therapy

Understand how acting can be a therapy for depression

Understand how depression differs among genders

How decluttering affects mental health

The psychology behind organising and decluttering

How the performing arts benefit mental health

Decluttering with depression

Depression, stress and stroke risk


Notice: Please do NOT enrol on this course on impulse, thinking you might watch it later. Maybe show an interest on impulse, yes, but before you enrol, watch the Preview videos, read the Course Description and then make a decision. If you then enrol then please start the course as soon as possible. Watch the lectures, look at the workbooks and join in the discussions. Joining my courses is a serious business and I want you to get the most out of your study – but I also want you to enjoy the course.

That is why I am asking that you only enrol because you really want to and that you start the course intending to make full use of all the resources.

You will be very welcome.

The role of theatre/cinema in breaking the cycle of anxiety, depression and despair - a key to treating depression and anxiety.

"GPs prescribing arts activities to some patients could lead to a dramatic fall in hospital admissions and save the NHS money, according to a report into the subject of arts, health and wellbeing published after two years of evidence gathering.

The report, published on Wednesday, includes hundreds of interviews and dozens of case studies showing how powerfully the arts can promote health and wellbeing."

- The Guardian newspaper 17 July 2017

This course about how theatre/cinema can be used to reduce depression and anxiety, was originally divided into ten lectures but we expanded it a little as a crowd funding campaign caught our eye and so we have an extra lecture about the campaign, an interview with the producer and some useful websites.


The total lecture time is about two hours - think how much can be learnt in that time!

BUT this is not a course just about watching and listening. It is about learning and putting into action.

Maybe you know someone who is depressed.

Maybe YOU are suffering from depression and anxiety!

This course is about helping, helping you and enabling you to help others as well as yourself!.

Comments and questions are always welcome - and they are usually responded to within 24 hours.

Lecture 1 distinguishes between stress, depression and anxiety.  The lecture concludes with the symptoms of depression. 

Lecture 2 deals with the influence of the arts in particular theatre and shows how theatre – involvement – can reduce depression.

Lecture 3 outlines current government policy (and the policy of the Official Opposition) on the Arts.   

Lectures 4 and 5 return to theatre and how involvement in theatre can reduce depression.

Lecture 5 in particular shows how acting may be therapy.   

Lectures 6 and 7 show how improvisation in particular may be therapeutic for those suffering from depression.   

Lecture 8 is a spoof video on drama therapy. It is made up of outtakes from a film about a family playing monopoly. All the links in the film are genuine and it has a serious message to put across.   

Lecture 9 deals with the differences between theatre and cinema.   

Lecture 10 explains how cinema portrays - and can be used to reduce - depression. Various films are suggested.   

Lectures 11 and 12 describe the crowd funding campaign for a film produced by a 17 year old male who himself has suffered from depression. 

Lecture 12 is an interview with the young producer.   

Lecture 13 shows the results received when the question ‘Which is the best movie to watch when you are depressed?’ was asked.   

The closing lecture, lecture 14, talks the viewer through two websites that provide further resources to investigate when dealing with depression.   


  1. Augmented happiness

  2. Breaking the cycle of depression and anxiety

  3. Building emotional resilience - create an armoury!

  4. Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT)

  5. Coping with anxiety

  6. Depression and gender differences

  7. Emotional well-being

  8. Food to welcome

  9. Foods to avoid

  10. Improvisation and therapy

  11. Investment in the Arts

  12. Mental health policy

  13. Solution focused brief therapy

  14. Supplements to take

  15. Ten calming mantras

  16. The right exercises for depression - the right ones for you!

  17. Theatre and emotional health

  18. Treating yourself for phobias, anxiety disorders, depression

  19. World Mental Health Day

The Instructor runs Almost Random Theatre, a theatre in Oxford UK but has also acted in numerous films for other organisations. He brings to the course practical examples from plays and films as well as discussion of resources.   

The overall purpose of this course is to provide ways in which depression and anxiety may be reduced but also to raise awareness.

"Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds  "

- The World Health Organisation

This course should be seen as  just a few steps to try and reduce the problem, the sadness and the despair.

#anxiety #depression #depressionandanxiety #anxietyanddepression

New workbook added July 2019 on Decluttering

Chapter 1: Decluttering and mental health

Chapter 2: 5 Scientific Reasons Decluttering Your Home Will Make You Happier

Chapter 3: Tips to declutter when depression has made you neglect your apartment

Chapter 4: Remove Clutter to Reduce Stress (+ 5-Step Decluttering System)

Chapter 5: The psychology behind organizing and decluttering.(Marie Kondo)

Chapter 6: 6 Reasons Why Decluttering Is Good for Your Health

Chapter 7: 9 Ways Your Life Will Improve When You Declutter

Chapter 8: Here’s Why Decluttering is Good For You — and How to Get Started

Chapter 9: 12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life


Oxford Diploma in Understanding and Overcoming Depression
Oxford Diploma in Understanding and Overcoming Depression
Oxford Diploma in Understanding and Overcoming Depression
Oxford Diploma in Understanding and Overcoming Depression


Oxford School of Learning Diploma

About the Diploma

Depression and Anxiety - Treat Anxiety and Lift Depression : Introduction

Depression and Anxiety - Treat Anxiety and Lift Depression : About the lecturer



The Influence of the Arts

Government cuts

Theatre - involving others

Acting as therapy

Improv and therapy


Monopoly therapy

The difference between theatre and cinema

Cinema and depression

Crowdfunding and 'Under Tight Skin'

Interview with Junior Day - director of 'Under Tight Skin'

The Quora question

A couple of websites

Depression may cause a stroke so this section is important

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Lecture 4

Lecture 5

Lecture 6


Boumaaraf19 July 2020

This is course is La crème de la crème! I would like to thank you for your efforts to address the key success to beat and treat depression and anxiety with the art of cenima and theatre! really it is brilliant <3 I love you thanks again from the bottom of my heart.

Hafsa9 May 2020

It made me rethink many things. I felt better as if its not a course but a therapy session in itself.

Shambhunath4 May 2020

the first thing about this course is the instructor ,he is so good either explaining the concept or give practical example's .the best thing about this course is that they covered each topic related to depression etc.such a good course and learn lot new things .Thank you

Devender4 May 2020

everyone can relate to oneself with these lecture and my favourite part was about the movie by junior day.

Manjusha26 April 2020

Dear Sir, The way you have explained Depression-Understanding-Overcome Course, I think this is the best way anyone can understand easily & also help others to overcome in difficult times of stress n depression. I believe this course has already helped me a lot in being positive and find positive things and thoughts around me. Like in the last lecture you have showed a video of a nature and showed how we can start a new life lile plants growing, ladders towards success or if we think negative we end up saying it's all garbage around me. I hope for the best in me & look forward to be a positive human being and to good to others and help others through the information i got after completing this course. Thanks & Regards, Manjusha Dhaliwal

Malka24 December 2018

needed to listen to at speed 1.25 because otherwise sppech is too slow and unnatural. great intro as to the benefits of drama, either as a preformer or observer, for people with depression. would like to know more about monoploy therapy - this is the firs time i have heard about it

Marion30 June 2018

Wonderful course which I found really helpful and interesting. A much better option than taking anti-depressants !

Robin10 June 2018

As a long-term sufferer of depression myself, I really wanted to like this course, but I found it messy and fractured. It seemed to be three courses squished into one. The section on theatre, cinema, and depression seemed to be aimed more at people who cared for depressed people rather than the depressed themselves. And the segment about government cuts to the arts diffused my interest in the topic. I did find the idea of involvement in theatre a fresh approach to the subject, and thought that should be a course of its own. The section about "Under Tight Skin", while about a short film being made about depression, by a crew who suffered depression, has a connection to the overall subject of the course, it came across as a promo for the project, rather than educational, in my view. There were snippets that would be of some help to depression sufferers, but these were scattered through the course, and not highlighted enough for someone who might be seeking help and enlightenment. I commend Chris for creating a fresh look at this subject matter; a subject that needs many approaches to reach more people, and that is why I've given it 4 stars. I look forward to seeing what he has done in the Mark II version of this course. And I also thank him for making this and his other courses available to so many.

Luciano13 May 2018

Excellent course about the positive influence of the theater and cinema to face the depression. They discuss affordable forms of theater-based therapy, public policy about culture, recommended movies to watch, explain the difference of theatre and cinema over the perspective of the human perception and socialisation and finish with nice resources to get more help. Honest, direct, objective, useful and fun, so I recommend for everyone. Thank you so much Mr. Sivewright.

Nancy17 April 2018

A real insight to something I feel passionate about and delivered in a way to be understood easily. A lot of good resources and knowledge base. Thank you.

Karathanou29 March 2018

The lecturer is understandable but I want more about the topic of the title. Since now, the lecturer has not referred to cinema topic... What is next?

Alexa6 March 2018

It's interesting to hear about the govt aspect/influence on theatre. I didn't realize that there were so many studies and findings that reveal performing arts - both partaking in and consuming - contribute to better wellbeing. But I guess that shows when studies/facts don't align with the beliefs, views or goals of people controlling that funding, it doesn't matter. Love that it is proven performing arts, specifically acting, can be therapeutic. Interesting course. Would have loved more of an interactive element, but really appreciate the time and effort that has gone into conveying this information for free. Brilliant.

Chris26 October 2017

Depression is a major problem in today’s stressed society, in particular among the young as social media allows instant comparisons, instant friendships – and instant ostracisation. This series of lectures shows how depression is portrayed – and may be reduced by participating – in the theatre and cinema. The various clips are from the presenter’s own plays/theatre and add context to the narrative. There is no attempt to advertise ‘upcoming performances’ either…until the interview with the young film producer (aged 17). On the one hand this was very interesting and the link to the crowd funding campaign (which closed before the course was launched so this is not subliminal selling) added a certain weight to the delivery. On the other hand, though, there were no links to a development of what the producer was talking about i.e. where is the film? Where is the campaign? I understand why clips from major films cannot be used (copyright) and I found the references to Lady Gaga interesting. The various ways to reduce depression – and the steps the Presenter, Chris Sivewright is taking – will, I am sure, be of interest and help to educators and theatre professionals alike. This course is totally free and should be seen as a useful contribution to reduce depression in everyone but especially the young. Well done!

Shazmin29 August 2017

Clear communication supported by quotations and linked to studies. Not all just talk, couple of clips from theatre too which makes it varied and interesting. Paced at the right speed too. Of especial interest are the real life examples. Of course 'depression' can be found in textbooks but this course is something more than that. Not hugely famous examples only but also a personal touch, an interview with a (very young) Producer, stills from a film. This is an excellent mixture of the academic and the real-life; the theoretical and the practical. Nothing fancy, nothing hyper just slow, careful analysis plus examples. I also liked the frequent use of links showing that further study, gleaning of information, can take place after the course has finished. This review is written in August 2017 and clearly the course is very new and up to date. UPDATE AUGUST 2018 I have now watched the Mk II version and it is fascinating how this course fits into aspects of the Mk II course. WELL DONE!


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