Friday, August 11, 2017

Helpful Mental Health Apps

Top 5 Mental Health Apps
With the technology of today there seems to be an app for everything. What we don’t always recognize is that we can use this technology for personal growth and development. In other words, there are more enlightening apps than angry birds and candy crush. I took some time to look into many of the mental health apps available and found that there are hundreds available. Below you will find a list and description of the top 5 mental health apps I discovered. All of these apps are free and available on iPhone and android devices.
1.       Stop, Breathe, and Think
This mindfulness app is great for beginners and for those experienced with relaxation and meditation techniques. There is information on learning how to meditate and understanding the basics in order to get started. What I enjoyed about this app is that it prompts you to check in with yourself. So you will be asked how your body and mind are feeling and also what emotions you are currently experiencing. Then based on those responses the app suggests a few mindfulness exercises for you. Most of the exercises are brief anywhere from 3-15 minutes. You can also track your mindfulness progress over time.

2.       Daylio
This app is a very basic mood tracking app. What I liked about it is that is very quick and easy to complete. I find with mood tracking that it can be hard to stick to it daily if it feels too time consuming or overwhelming. This app allows you to track your mood daily, allowing more than one entry in a day, as we know our moods can change throughout a day. It also asks you what you have been doing that day. Then under stats you can look at what your recent moods have been and also what activities are typically connected to those moods. For example, it may show that feeling happy is typically associated with spending time with friends or that feeling sad it usually connected to watching TV. This helps us to recognize connections between our moods and behavior to figure out what helps and what doesn’t.

3.       What’s Up
Here is an app that incorporates techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It has several different components the first of which is a section on self-calming strategies in order to get to a place where you are calm enough to sort through an issue. Then there are many coping strategies for addressing our thinking patterns and better understanding of our thoughts. In addition, there is information about specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, anger management, etc. This app could be a useful tool in between therapy sessions to help stay on top of using your coping skills.

4.       Mindshift
An app that is made to specifically address anxiety. It is geared towards adolescents and young adults but can be useful for people of all ages. There is information on understanding anxiety and it then helps you identify the situations in your life that are triggering this for you. Once those are identified, it walks you through a step by step method for gaining skills to cope with your anxiety, providing specific tools and inspiration along the way.

5.       Rise Up + Recover

This app is geared towards individuals with disorder eating or a challenging relationship with food. On this app you can create a meal log to keep track of eating patterns and the app has a feature where you can also email your log to your therapist, nutritionist, or other supports. Along with the meal log it tracks emotions and eating disorder behaviors such as bingeing and purging. Lastly there is a coping skills section for support in between sessions with your treatment team or support individuals

Kaitlyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor who strives to help people find inner peace and healing.  She provides client centered counseling services to children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults.  She values the human connection and creating a safe space for exploration, learning, and growth.  Kaitlyn obtained her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She has extensive experience working with individuals struggling with eating disorders, self-esteem, and body image issues. She also has a particular passion for working with adolescents and young adults. Other areas of interest include grief and loss, anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavior issues, parent/child relationships, and family systems.
Kaitlyn utilizes several therapeutic approaches but specializes in Internal Family Systems Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She often incorporates relaxation and mindfulness techniques into sessions. In her work with children she frequently integrates play therapy and artistic expression to encourage healthy emotion regulation and communication.  In her free time Kaitlyn enjoys running, traveling, camping, and gardening. Kaitlyn believes that happiness is something you create and every individual has the power to make positive change in their life. She is here as a partner on your path 
to creating happiness and peace.