Inspiration 10: using mind-mapping for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Sharon was recommended Inspiration to help with her Dyslexia, and now uses the software for her postgraduate studies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at Canterbury Christ Church University. Here Sharon talks to us about how Inspiration has helped her structure and organise her learning, as well as the innovative ways she uses the software to assist in her CBT client meetings.


How were you first introduced to Inspiration?

I was introduced to it as part of a (DSA) Dyslexia package. My reading, spelling and processing skills are quite poor and Inspiration has really helped, because I like to see things visually and just capture all the information that I need. I love that it’s so tidy and quick to do, you can move it around easily and correct it, or transform it into a linear text if you want to. It’s also great because it helps with spelling and I love the fact that you can use colour. I have Meares-Irlen Syndrome, which basically means that I get quite a lot of distress looking at black text on white and it moves around or is distorted. So that's why I like black on a green background, then I can read it much better.

How has Inspiration helped with your studies?

I think Inspiration has helped with structuring and not thinking of an assignment as a huge task. Instead of looking at a white piece of paper and panicking, Inspiration helps break things down into manageable sections. It's about taking all of the relevant points that you need to get across and that you're going to be marked on, and making sure you're as succinct as possible. It’s been really useful to break it all down into little segments that I can tackle one at a time. It’s much more manageable and not as daunting.

Can you describe the types of tasks that you use Inspiration for?

I've got a literature review coming up and I've used it for that. I have five papers that I need to talk about, so I've plotted them out on Inspiration. Then I've got to break those papers down to things like designs, strengths and weaknesses, ethics, etc. So it's really easy to plot out using Inspiration, especially using colour. Say ethics is all red, then I can quickly see which box for each paper has got the information for ethics in.

I’m also doing case reports on clients for some of my modules and again, it's breaking it down so that I know the information that I'm going to be marked on is there and I don't wander off topic. I need to stay on topic and give the examiner the answers that they're looking for, because I've only got so many words to get everything in. I always put the exact word count in each of the topic boxes, so if one section is worth 10% of the mark, I know that's going to be 10% of the overall word count. So I'm conscious of keeping both Inspiration and my assignments very much merged together to give me a really clear understanding of what's going on.

Is there anything else you would like to say about Inspiration?

I'm really impressed with it. It's something that I've recommended to a friend of mine who's dyslexic and is about to start this same course. I think it would be really helpful for her as well. This course is very intense and fast paced, so you need helpful programmes. The other thing is being able to plot everything out on Inspiration for your assignments means it’s all collected on one page and you just click on it. It gives you all that information instead of having lots of bits of paper that you lose, because I ended up with pieces of paper everywhere. It saves you time, which is very precious when you do a course like this.

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration 11, click here, and for more case studies like Sharon's, click here.

Inspiration is an approved product for the Disabled Student Allowance.