Background Internet-based self-help treatment with minimal therapist contact has been shown to have an effect in treating various conditions. The objective of this study was to explore participants' views of Internet administrated guided self-help treatment for depression. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 strategically selected participants and qualitative methods with components of both thematic analysis and grounded theory were used in the analyses. Results Three distinct change processes relating to how participants worked with the treatment material emerged which were categorized as (a) Readers, (b) Strivers, and (c) Doers. These processes dealt with attitudes towards treatment, views on motivational aspects of the treatment, and perceptions of consequences of the treatment. Conclusions We conclude that the findings correspond with existing theoretical models of face-to-face psychotherapy within qualitative process research. Persons who take responsibility for the treatment and also attribute success to themselves appear to benefit more. Motivation is a crucial aspect of guided self-help in the treatment of depression.