Mental health apps let you access therapy from your smartphone
Apps that let users talk to human therapists or keep tabs on their own mental state are making therapy more accessible and affordable
More than 150,000 people have used Talkspace so far, says co-founder Oren Frank. For nearly half of them, it’s their first brush with therapy. “Therapy becomes a daily experience, much more in tune with what happens to you on a daily basis,” he says.
This week, another app in this vein debuts. TruReach Health offers free lessons in cognitive behavioural therapy, a treatment that teaches people to recognise and alter negative patterns in their thoughts or behaviours.
The lessons are given in short animated videos and between watching these, users practise what they have learned by jotting down their thoughts in a digital journal. The app will be tested at Royal Ottawa hospital in Canada and in trials with students at a nearby university.
TruReach Health was created by Jeff Perron, a clinical psychology graduate at the University of Ottawa. He says the app isn’t meant to replace face-to-face therapy, but to provide a substitute for those who don’t have access to it – whether for fear of social stigma or simply the expense.
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