Although there is something a bit foreboding about an inanimate object assisting with something as complex as a person’s mental health, the more I listened, the more I thought that maybe I should give the Mental Health app a chance before I completely dismiss it as a mind control effort by cell phone companies and the IT industry. My change of mind resulted because it seems these apps have been created by mental health professionals as a supplemental tool to regular talk therapy and has a real theoretical basis: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Thus, it seems these apps might be a great way to keep the client self-aware and accountable for their own behaviors by providing them a tool to help monitor themselves.
Often, when using CBT, we therapists suggest things like a journal to help monitor moods and distorted thoughts so that the client increases self-awareness and has an outlet until their next therapy session. I have even suggested an online web database to assist in documenting dreams on this blog (see Dream Big. And write about it). Now, with the many leaps and bounds that technology is making, it appears that a person’s phone can now be used as a tracking system that the client can even share with their psychiatrists (the MD who handles psychotropic meds) and their therapists (LCSWs, LMFTs, Pyschologists, etc.), if they would like. Having access to honest and consistent documentation of moods would be beneficial to the therapist because it would provide insight into what the client’s stressors and triggors are beyond what is verbally reported and could possibly lead to more openness (or acknowledgement of habitual behaviors) in sessions.