From a shared vision that everyone has the right to know the skills for good mental health, for recovery and resilience.

Our Story

Positive Mental Training

In 2004, starting out with audio CDs, Dr Alastair Dobbin, a GP, and Dr Sheila Ross, a health promotion specialist, teamed up to create the Positive Mental Training programme for mental health and recovery. It was developed from a Swedish Olympic Sports performance programme with a positive self-development focus, rather than a clinical illness-based approach.

It has been shown in research to build positive emotions and good psychological functioning, elements which, according to Self Determination Theory, underpin self-esteem and intrinsic motivation.

Today, the Feeling Good App is recommended for use by NHS Borders & NHS Lothian, Public Health England ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign, and is accredited by the NHS. It was one of the 70 apps launched on the NHS Digital Library for the NHS's 70th birthday. We also meet the latest NHSx Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC).

Alastair and Sheila continue to develop and research Positive Mental Training, growing its use in many fields of health & social care. The Positive Mental Training approach underpins all the modules in both the Feeling Good adult and Feeling Good Teens apps.

Alastair Says:

'I developed an interest in the mind from reading Freud as a teenager. Studying medicine, I became interested in the science of the body and so became a family doctor, but I never lost an interest in the mind. I soon realised that there was a huge burden of distress in most of my patients and I started to look for techniques that might help them.

In the late 90’s I came across a Swedish Olympic sports coach and recognised that his approach was very similar to mine, focussing on strengthening positive visualisations, rather than looking at what is going wrong. I teamed up with Sheila who, working in health promotion, also shared the same concepts of recovery and wellbeing.

We adapted the ideas of sports coaching for use in the health service and Positive Mental Training came to life. Since then scientific research has confirmed it's beneficial effects on increasing recovery in depression and anxiety, and also on helping people do well in their work, sport, home and social life.'

Sheila Says:

‘Life can be so stressful, it’s not surprising that 1 in 4 of us experience depression or anxiety at some time. I was not taught how to look after my mental health, only physical health. I’ve now learnt from developing Positive Mental Training that it's possible to learn skills for emotional balance, to grow resilience and feel more positive about life.

I’m so pleased to be able to bring these skills and techniques to others and to work with all the amazing people in the NHS to help support their work. It’s exciting too to have begun working with younger people, in colleges and schools to give them the tools to develop their potential. The goal setting approach from athletics is especially applicable to finding the right path in life.’

Our Quality and Safety Assurance

At Feeling Good we are committed to giving you the best possible experience and outcomes from using our app. The Feeling Good app is the result of years of work and experience from Dr Alastair Dobbin, who worked as a GP for over 30 years, and Dr Sheila Ross, a psychotherapist and health psychologist. They synthesised their clinical and academic experience to create Positive Mental Training which they have researched and found to be effective in a number of differing situations. As clinicians they appreciate and place foremost the needs of the person listening to the audios. They work closely with brilliantly capable and experienced Software engineers resulting in this app being easy to use and effective. They love to hear from listeners and are always keen to hear from listeners in software design to make the Feeling Good app the best experience it can be.  

As a company we have established systematic Quality Management and Clinical Safety systems and hold quarterly reviews to identify, assess, control and mitigate any inherent clinical or system risks. This is then consolidated on a yearly basis.

We are totally committed at Positive Rewards to provide the highest levels of software quality and safety we can through our processes. Our company follows these systems and processes without reservation, and actively seeks opportunities to improve the way we work.

We recognise that the software we produce could be used in the treatment of our own families and loved ones, and therefore our company and all our staff have a duty to support the Quality and Clinical Safety management systems.

As a company we commit to being IOS 9001:2015 and ISO13485 compliant Quality Management Systems and meet other standards such as the best practice for healthcare app NHS Digital DCB0129 and DCB0160. This is reflected in the NHS Digital DTAC accreditation for the Feeling Good app.  

We also have cyber essential certification to ensure our systems are as secure as they can be.