and adults dealing with anxiety or depression. Available in
English and Spanish, the apps encourage users to record their
negative experiences and thoughts, then prompt them to use
cognitive-behavioral strategies, such as identifying negative
thought patterns and replacing them with positive solutions.
For example, a job applicant ruminating about an upcoming
interview might replace, “I’ll never get the job” with “My
experience working abroad will set me apart.”
The app is a way for clients to carry around what they
learn in therapy — not to substitute for therapy itself. In fact,
several users have found their way into a therapist’s office after
downloading the app, Tazeau says. “[Technology] will never
supplant us — it’s a way to reach people,” she says.
To learn more, go to www.tikalbaytek.com.
Insight Notes: Recordkeeping and notes for
therapists, evaluators, students and other service
Available on iPad, under $10, plus monthly fee under $20 for
Adam Alban, PhD, JD, created Insight Notes to give fee-for-service psychologists a note-taking and recordkeeping
option that also meets HIPAA requirements for encrypted
data. “I wanted to create a simple system that would [allow
psychologists] to take notes on a per-client basis, to do it
securely and to do it incredibly efficiently,” says Alban, who runs
psychology and law practices in San Francisco.
The program, which Alban created with a team of attorneys,
designers and app developers, allows psychologists to take notes
and scan images that are organized by patient and automatically
backed up. Providers can then send these files securely in
batches, rather than piecemeal. Users can also include their
signatures and letterhead on any documents they choose.
While Alban’s team plans to add other elements that can
facilitate clinical work, he says the program’s appeal is in its
simplicity. “There’s a population of psychologists who don’t
need really robust practice management solutions — they just
want to be able to do things quickly, easily and [digitally],” he
says. “We wanted to be able to support them.”
To learn more, go to www.insightnotes.com
ReliefLink: An app for suicide prevention
Available on i Tunes, free
When someone who’s attempted suicide winds up in the
emergency room, the news is mostly good — he or she has
failed at the attempt and is receiving care. But once discharged,
the patient is at risk again. Seeking to improve the coordination
of follow-up care and keep patients closely connected to help
is ReliefLink, an app developed by a team led by APA President
Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, at Emory University.
“My idea would be that every time someone comes to a
hospital or therapist with suicidal symptoms, they would be
encouraged to use the app,” she says.
The app includes such features as a mood tracker, a
personalized safety plan, coping strategies and an emergency
button that connects users to friends, hospitals and other
resources. If, for example, a user reports his mood is dipping into
a risky zone, a pop-up message offers such suggestions as calling a
health-care provider, using deep breathing exercises or following
directions to the nearest place to get help.
The app won first prize in a contest sponsored by the federal
Step Away: Mobile intervention for
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration in September and may soon
be used at health-care systems throughout
the country, community mental health
centers, as well as by suicide prevention
organizations in other countries, Kaslow says.
Available on i Tunes, $4.99
Far too few people with an alcohol problem receive
any sort of treatment, says psychologist Patrick Dulin,
The app progresses through 10 intervention steps designed OleksiyMark/Thinkstock