Five Virtual Therapy and Mental Health Apps to Cope With Stress
Let’s face it: life is often difficult. Relationships of all kinds, financial struggles, and health problems are just a few of the stress inducers in our lives. Many individuals are struggling with increased levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It’s always best to seek the advice of a mental health professional to develop a treatment strategy, regardless of the cause of your anxiety. While waiting, there are a number of anxiety-relieving apps available that might help with some of the less-than-fun symptoms of worry.
For those with hectic schedules, those who live in remote areas with little access to mental health professionals, or those who are unable to afford the expense of frequent trips to mental health appointments, apps that help manage anxiety symptoms can be a game changer. None of these apps will replace virtual counseling with a virtual therapist, but they can be effective when used in conjunction with mental health counseling. Here are five good ones to research:
The free version of Calm comes with choices for timed meditation, the first day of many of its multi-day meditation programs, the Breathe Bubble, and a bedtime story called Blue Gold. For both guided and unguided meditation, the app also offers free sounds from nature that users can choose from to play background music and/or nature noises.
A premium subscription comes with a session of the original Daily Calm meditation, several hours of guided meditations on topics like sleep, anxiety, tension, and thankfulness, as well as meditations for kids. A collection of more than 120 sleep tales is also available to users. New tales are added every week, along with exclusive music tracks for concentration, relaxation, sleep, and masterclasses featuring world-renowned mindfulness experts.
2. 7 Cups
With the aid of trained, volunteer active listeners, 7 Cups offers patients who require assistance managing sudden stressors and ongoing mental health problems free, anonymous, and secret emotional support. Glen Moriarty, a licensed psychologist, created the app. The service is entirely confidential and anonymous.
Based on reviews and a list of subjects they specialize in, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, LGBTQ issues, breakups, bullying, or eating disorders, patients can select from more than 160,000 trained active listeners and licensed therapists. Each active listener receives an overall evaluation as well as ratings for their helpfulness, professionalism, empathy, and response time. To establish a long-lasting, therapeutic connection, users can select a different active listener each time or stick with the same active listener. As time goes on, participation in the online community earns viewers and users points and badges, which further encourages them to stick with the program.
In Headspace, the focus is on treating your psyche gently. With subjects like political tension, death, aging anxiety, body anxiety, and much more, the patient’s improvement in health and happiness is Headspace’s sole purpose. And it is undoubtedly progressing in that direction, with millions of members in more than 190 nations.
Access to hundreds of guided meditations on topics ranging from tension to sleep is available during a two-week free trial of Headspace Plus for new users. With the expert instruction of Headspace co-founder and former monk Andy Puddicombe, there are quick meditations you can practice whenever you choose. Your thoughts will surely be eased into a deeply restful sleep by the app’s sleep sounds. The app primarily emphasizes mindfulness meditation rather than anxiety-specific therapy methods.
4. MoodTools and FearTools
The MoodTools and FearTools apps give patients quick access to tools for tracking their activities, safety strategy, and cognitive distortions. Patients can fill out the following standardized screening questionnaires on MoodTools, which concentrates on depression, and on FearTools, which addresses anxiety: For generalized anxiety disorder type 7 and melancholy, using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. The apps advise consulting a doctor or other qualified mental expert based on the screening results. While FearTools gives a workbook for managing anxiety and phobias, MoodTools offers suggestions for falling asleep or controlling suicidal thoughts. To track symptoms, both applications prompt the user to retake the screening questionnaire every two weeks.
The apps enable users to keep thought diaries where they can document circumstances that lead to negative thoughts, question those thoughts, and find better alternatives. The apps provide free guided meditations, breathing exercises, calming sounds, pertinent TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Talks, and an individual safety plan for patients who are constantly battling anxiety or depression. The patient develops a safety strategy that includes personal warning signs, coping mechanisms, reasons to live, contacts, and distraction locations. The apps can also connect the user to the closest emergency room or helpline.
BetterHelp provides convenient and cheap counseling from trained therapists. Its extensive library of resources aids clients in overcoming a range of issues, such as tension and anxiety.
BetterHelp is a good choice if you’d prefer an app that enables you to develop coping mechanisms and address trauma with the aid of an expert. Thousands of the organization’s certified therapists provide affordable counseling that is more convenient than conventional in-office sessions.
For clients dealing with stress management, grief, anger, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues, BetterHelp provides a variety of helpful tools. Depending on the therapist you work with, you may receive individualized treatment using a range of methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), psychoanalytic psychotherapy, eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and others.
It makes sense that patients might use these tools to help them deal with or even avoid the symptoms of anxiety and depression, given the prevalence of mobile devices. However, these apps are tools to work alongside professional therapy, whether in person or virtual therapy sessions.
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