NOTE: Many apps give the option of linking to social media sites. I explicitly tell patients, “Do not link your information to social media.” Although there are some benefits of social media use, working with minors, I strongly encourage the use of boundaries.
These apps are available on most devices.
1. Therapy Buddy (free)
USES: I have most of my adolescent patients download this app at the first session. It allows the user to do the following:
- Record Therapy Appointments
- Write a “Helpful Takeaway” for Each Session
- Create a Homework Assignment Task List
- Set an Alert Reminder for Next Appointment
- Create a List of “Things to Bring Up” at next session!
All these features are password protected and stored within the app, for maximum privacy and security!
2. MY3 (free)
USES: For developing safety plans with patients with depression and morbid ideation.
MY3 (Android, iOS) is targeted squarely at those who are depressed or suicidal themselves. MY3 aims to keep users connected to their core network, asking users to choose three close contacts, such as friends, family, or loved ones, that users feel comfortable reaching out to whenever their feel down. In addition, MY3 helps users build their own Safety Plan, asking users to think through and list their own warning signs, coping strategies and support network, so that users can easily act when they recognize their warning signs. In addition, the app includes a wealth of suicide prevention resources and contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
3. In Flow (free)
USES: Enables users to log moods daily, energy level, and activities associated with each mood. Together with the patient, therapists can then analyze the patient’s behavior patterns and create behavior modification plans. In flow allows the patient to do the following:
- Keep track of daily mood with automatic reminders
- Weigh and compare what increases joy with the activities done the most
- Create a best and worst rating and mood graph
- See how energy and emotions correlate
4. Relax Melodies (free)
USES: Allows the user to make personalized relaxing sounds. Sound choices include birds, lullabies, rain, water, flutes, and many more. Additionally, it also hash high quality ambient sounds, including 2 binaural beats frequencies for brainwave entrainment and white noise sounds.
5. Joseph Clough (free to download, $2.99 per hypnosis session)
This is my favorite app! The only app I pay for! It includes recorded hypnosis scripts from my favorite Hypnotherapist Joseph Clough. The Procrastination, Learning & Revision, Insomnia Now, Exam Stress, Gym Motivation, Deep Relaxation, Happiness & Confidence, and Meditation—The Journey scripts are amazing.
TIP: Except for the Insomnia Now, DO NOT, listen to scripts 2-3 hours before bed, or you may have difficulty sleeping. In addition, DO NOT operate a vehicle while listening.
6. Biobreathing (free)
USES: To teach diaphragmatic breathing. Biofeedback breathing is a breath pacer that allows the user to keep count of Inhale and Exhale breathing cycles. The user can set the lengths of the Inhale and Exhale phases independently. One tone is used for the Inhale phase and another tone is used during the Exhale phase, allowing the user to use the app without having to look at it.
The lengths of each phase can be increased to a maximum of 10 seconds.
7. Pablo the Pufferfish: Big Shots Game
USES: Assist children in managing needle phobia. Kids follow Pablo’s underwater adventure as he learns to get over his fear of needles. The kid solves jigsaw puzzles, plays drag and drop games, and meets Pablo’s sea friends! No internet connection required. For kids 1 to 11 years of age.
- Vibrant illustrations, professional narration with multiple characters, original music, fun sound effects
- Two interactive Jigsaw puzzles
- Two drag and drop games
- Visual index allows you to move to your favorite pages and puzzles
8. Catch it: Making Sense of Your Mood
USES: Mood tracker. The app was designed to illustrate some of the key principles of psychological approaches to mental health and well-being, and specifically Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It also password protected. The app asks user their emotion, the strength of that emotion (from 1 to 5), where they are located (e.g., home, work, shopping, etc.), what they were doing right before the emotion, to reflect and identify another way to think of the emotion, and then to re-rate the strength of the originally reported emotion. Finally, the app provides a diary of each time the mood was documented.