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Apps in Mental Healths

Apps are revolutionizing the way clients receive mental health care. While an App can't replace a counselor, it can go a long way in collecting client information, educating clients on mental health topics and assisting clients in a moment of need. We've collected the latest Apps and categorized them according to different groups. Some Apps are for clinical psychotherapy purposes and others for education or entertainment. If we missed one, send us a note and we'll add it to the list.

 

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Apps for Therapists

While Apps will never be able to replace a therapist, they can be useful in helping gather information and help clients reach their goals in a more efficient manner. Mental health related Apps come in many forms. We have attempted to sort the types of Apps to help you find useful Apps for your clinical practice. Apps can be used to gather mental health information, counseling intervention, client education, to remind clients of interventions, or as tools in clinical practice. The uses for Apps in counseling are as individual as each client's need.

A cautionary note on intervention and reference Apps. Before you recommend an intervention App, make sure that you are comfortable with the developer and material in the App. The FDA is working on regulations to monitor and regulate Apps that are relied upon for clinical decision-making and interventions. Until Apps are regulated, therapists should treat Apps like they would a self-help book and ensure that the materials are sound and appropriate to the client. There are a lot of Apps on the market that are simply entertaining or poorly done. So take a moment and try out an App and test it before you recommend it.

 

Self-Help Apps

Self-Help Apps come in several varieties. Our list contains a mix of different topics and different types of help. Some Apps are for education or to training. Others are intended for entertainment only. Before you enter any private information into a self-help App, read the terms of use to ensure that your private information is kept secure.

 

Apps for Students

Students studying to become mental health providers, counselors, social workers or psychologists can benefit from a host of new Apps for students. Many were created as study guides and as quick reference materials to help students on the go. As you sort through the Apps, take a moment to ensure that the App contains up to date information from a reliable source.

The App will not replace the therapist, as many in mental health fear. We are not working towards the counselor saying “Take two Apps and call me next week.” Apps, like assessments, self-help materials and worksheets, serve as enhancements to the therapy process. Uses of Apps in therapy are as individual as the therapy session. Experiment with some of the Apps and post some feedback on your experiences.

7 Comments

  1. admin on April 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Are you using Apps in therapy? There are a LOT of ways to use Apps to help clients. I hope you will try a few and let us know how you use them in our practice.

  2. Luciano L'Abate on April 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Are all these apps administered verbally, visually, or what? It would be important to know which medium is being used.

  3. admin on April 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    @Luciano – Good point. At this time you’ll have to look at each Therapy App to identify which communication medium works best for you.

  4. LINDA MEADOWS, LCSW-R on July 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    While I have not looked at the apps, your list is comprehensive, else I would not have taken this time to thank you for offering this gift. I will provide additional feedback after looking further into the apps.
    Again, thank you.

  5. PsychedbyMg on February 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    You should add “Couple Counseling & Chatting” app on Android. Just Launched Feb 12, 2014 and hit 12,000 downloads in a week.

  6. Tiffany on December 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    It would be very helpful/useful to list the cost associated with each app as well.

    • Admin 2 on December 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Hello Tiffany,

      Thank you for your suggestion. We agree it would be a helpful detail to include but since prices are subject to change we want to remain as accurate as possible. We also recommend shopping by feature first, then click the links to get to specific apps’ page for pricing.

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How to Use Apps in Psychotherapy
There are MANY uses for Apps, but if you are brand new to using Apps in therapy, start by considering what you already use and see if there is a cross over product. The best way to start using Apps in therapy is to find ways to use an App to do what you already recommend to clients. Make sure that the recommendation fits the therapeutic goals of the client and the client has a clear rational for using it. I tend to frame this as an “experiment” to gather more information for a few days. Clients, unless they are compulsive, usually wane in compliance after a few few days anyway, so suggest they collect for a few days and save the information for the next meeting.

Have you ever had a client that could use a little more self-awareness? Ever wish you could collect more information to understand the extent of the client’s issue or help the client identify patterns? Does your client wonder if the medication really making a difference? Of course, the answer is “Yes” to all of these. Collecting information is one of the most basic (and easy) uses for Apps. Asking your client to log the “moment,” or collect information at different prescribed intervals could bring in valuable data into therapy. Imagine a client brining in a completed chart of the targeted emotions or behaviors and corresponding notes for those times.

A cautionary note on intervention Apps. Make sure that you are comfortable with the developer and material in the App. The FDA is working on regulations to monitor and regulate Apps that are relied upon for clinical decision-making and interventions. Until Apps are regulated, counselors should treat Apps like they would a self-help book and ensure that the materials are sound and appropriate to the client. There are a lot of Apps on the market that are simply entertaining or poorly done. So take a moment and try out an App and test it before you recommend it.

Once you are ready to recommend an App for therapy, take a moment and walk through using the app in session. This will help the client clearly understand what is expected and help the therapist identify any client’s limitations. Be clear on the expectations for use and the worth of the material gathered. Focus on the material rather than the technology. Keep the time interval for the App use short. Make sure the client is comfortable with the user agreement for the App. Do not have them email the results or post them on social media sites that are not HIPAA compliant.

The App will not replace the therapist, as many in mental health fear. We are not working towards the counselor saying “Take two Apps and call me next week.” Apps, like assessments, self-help materials and worksheets, serve as enhancements to the therapy process. Uses of Apps in therapy are as individual as the therapy session. Experiment with some of the Apps and post some feedback on your experiences.

Behavioral Health Innovation is reliant upon public information and the feedback from the companies represented regarding these telemental health counseling products/services and cannot make any warranty regarding this information. This information has been compiled for educational purposes and attempts are made regularly to verify the accuracy of the information. Individuals are encouraged to verify the information represented prior to making a purchasing decision.

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