Therapist Approved Smartphone Apps
We spend so much time on our smartphones these days, that why not go with it in terms of sharing some apps that I have found, in my private practice, to be helpful for mental health and well-being. Additionally, there are a couple apps that can help with focus, which can be a big struggle especially for those doing remote schooling or working from home.
ANXIETY OR TRAUMA RELIEF
- PTSD Coach https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/ptsdcoach_app.asp Developed by the Veterns Administration, this app has links to manage symptoms such as: reminded of a trauma, trouble sleeping, experiencing a flashback, overall anxiety, feeling sad/hopeless. It will give suggestions of different coping skill “tools” to use. The setup on the app allows you to link your own favorite personal pictures, songs, and phone contacts so that these can be reminders from the app when you’re in distress. I am most impressed with this app, and am happily surprised that it’s free because it is so comprehensive and has so many nice features. Don’t shy away if you don’t identify with the words PTSD; this app is so applicable for overall mood management.
- Mind Shift https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mindshift-cbt-anxiety-canada/id634684825 Designed especially with teens and young adults in mind, Mind Shift is designed to help with anxiety by providing the user with behavioral strategies.
- Worry Watch https://apps.apple.com/us/app/worry-watch-the-habit-tracker/id693833917 Worry watch is essentially a habit tracker, helping the user to get a better understanding of their anxiety triggers and patterns
- Insight timer https://insighttimer.com/ Insight timer has countless guided meditations and is said to be most helpful for sleep, anxiety, and stress. The user can filter the catalog of guided meditation options by topic and amount of time you’d like to meditate.
- Headspace https://www.headspace.com/ In my mind, the Headspace app is one of the original meditation apps. They offer free trials and a 10 day start-up kit for meditating, which can be a helpful introduction to making it a habit.
- Calm https://www.calm.com/ Calm is another meditation and mindfulness app. Calm includes guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. Calm also has a “Calm Kids” section in the app where younger kids can learn calming techniques.
- Mend https://app.letsmend.com/ Mend is an interactive app and coach, essentially, through the day-to-day of recovering from a break-up. Mend prompts self-care, and has a community aspect to it as well, which can be helpful for shared support, inspiration, and healing.
- Recovery Record https://www.recoveryrecord.com/ Recovery record can be helpful for eating disorders, can give the user prompts such as of when to eat and to log their meals if keeping a food record. There is a provider aspect to the app as well, where the app user’s dietician or therapist can link to be able to view certain aspects of the personal app, which might help for example if the dietician wants the meal logs.
- Calm Harm https://calmharm.co.uk/ The idea of calm harm is for the app user to engage with the app when having the urge to self-harm. Calm Harm includes a combination of distraction activities, breathing activities, and opportunities to express oneself in writing (typing). Calm harm was designed by a psychologist and is based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
- Happify https://www.happify.com/ Happify has the user take a self-quiz to gather information about their specific areas of stress to target. Happify has you complete a few activities each week to hopefully result in improved life satisfaction and/or happiness.
FOCUS/ STAYING ON TASK
- Forest https://www.forestapp.cc/ Whenever you want to stay focused, you “plant a tree” on the page you’re on and watch it “grow” as you’re staying focused/ staying on that page. Users spend their virtual points to have real live trees planted, so it’s good for your focus and good for the environment too.
- Focus heyfocus.com Focus is a website and app blocker that helps you schedule your productivity or even lock you out of other applications for a duration so that you stay focused on the page you’re on.
NEED MORE/ Therapy with Sue:
Smartphone apps can be a helper in your mental health, but they’re not a substitute for professional treatment. If you are a California resident and would like to talk with me about how counseling for yourself or your teen can help, please contact me, I’d love to hear from you. I have a psychotherapy office in midtown Sacramento, an office in El Dorado Hills, or I can provide tele-health through a secured platform. I can be reached at https://hopeintherapy.com/contact/ or (916) 764-8360.