Over the past few years I’ve become accustomed to utilizing and recommending applications to help clients get through tough times.  While applications are not a replacement for my services, they can help when clients need some "on the spot" aid or reinforcement.   

I thought I’d list a few that I recommend, and ones that my clients have shared with me that they find helpful.  

Here are my top five that I’m able to access via my Android phone.

CBT-i  Coach:  This app is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.   It focuses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques for insomnia.   There are four sections which include: My Sleep, Tools, Learn and Reminders.   They include sleep logs (which is great to share with your therapist or for self evaluation).  CBT-i educates on the importance of sleep, reviews the stages of sleep and discusses the connection of PTSD and sleep. Having nightmares?  It's covered in this app.  There's also a great Reminders section with you can input your “sleep prescription”, take an assessment, stop caffeine, and worry time.   The app also features a “Quiet Your Mind”section  that includes topics of “schedule worry time”, “change your perspective”, “breathing tool”, “progressive relaxation”, “guided imagery”, “observe thoughts”, and “observe sensations”. This app can be useful to anyone with sleep issues, anxiety and PTSD.

Sleep Pillow:  On those nights when you can’t sleep this app provides wonderful relaxing sounds that can be set to a timer.  The free version includes nine relaxing sounds such as rain, rain/thunder, crackling fire, ocean, nature, whales, meditation, ticking clock, baby lullaby.  You have the ability to make your own ambient soundtrack and control the volume of each aspect you add.  Great for not only sleep but meditation, relaxation, studying and quiet time.  Therapists can also use these sounds as background if providing your own progressive relaxation with clients. 

Mood Tools- Depression Aid:  This app is helpful fo those feeling sad, battling depression, or wanting to lift their mood.  Mood tools contains several different research support tools including a depression inventory.  This app also features Activities, safety plan, self -help guidelines, tests, and videos.  The tool is free with no adds and was created by mental health professionals.  

Smoke Free- Stop Smoking help:  This app is used more for people who are trying to stop smoking.  Great educational sections that monitor the persons savings and health over time and they can compare and share achievements with others.  This app lists itself as the #1 iOS stop smoking app and is available in Android.  

CALM HARM:  This is a an app focused on assisting those that engage in self-harming behaviors.  Calm harm provides tasks that help resist or manage the urge to self-harm.  The user an add their own tasks and the app is private and password protected.  The app has four sections Distract which teaches self-control, comfort to teach care rather than harm, Express to get feelings out, and Release provides a safe alternative to self-harm.  

Remember applications are not a sufficient replacement for therapeutic services but should instead be used as an add on or adjunct to therapy.  discuss any apps you use with your therapist.  Do you have other apps that aid in calming, supporting, encouraging, or crisis management until personal help is available? I’d like to hear about them.

Please list your favorite self help apps (and maybe some pros and cons) in the comment section below. It's great to learn what works, and doesn't, from others.

For more information about mental health applications and counseling services visit Concierge & VIP Counseling.  Please find us on Facebook or Twitter for relevant material and motivation @PSYCHConcierge.  You can also access our entire gallery of FREE picture Quotes on FLICKR by clicking here please link back to our website http://counselflorida.com. 

Author's Bio: 

Meet Barika

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 15 years of comprehensive clinical experience. I own Concierge & VIP Counseling in Florida. A full service concierge counseling service provider, committed to meeting your treatment modality needs. I provide a confidential, non-judgmental, and compassionate atmosphere in which you can safely explore and work
through feelings, thoughts, images and beliefs, conscious or unconscious, that may be keeping you stuck. I am eclectic in my orientation and offer a holistic, integrative approach to client-centered therapy, using traditional psychodynamic and family systems work, and cognitive behavioral techniques. I temper the process with creativity, imagination and humor, along with practical solutions and concrete goals. I'd love to hear your story and feedback. Please visit and share at http://www.counselflorida.com