Can a Therapy App Help You?

I try not to take offense, but it seems that scientists are obsessed with eliminating my job. Some want to see machines replace trained therapists to help you with your emotional problems. That seems a little weird, since emotions are the only thing a computer cannot do at this point. At any rate, I’m a pragmatic person and I’ll support anything that helps people.

The New York Times is reporting that apps may in fact help people with anxiety and depression. A recent article explains how a video game-like app helps people overcome ways of thinking that lead to anxiety and depression. So, today I’m setting up all of my clients with my iPhone and taking off for a hike. Okay, no, wait a minute… if you read the full article, you realize that they are less than sure about the overall results. It seems that in one large study, whether people used the real app or a placebo app, the results were the same. Perhaps just thinking you are doing something helpful helps.

Bottom line: you can use an app and that might help. However, you should also keep in mind a lot of different things help. Talking with friends, getting outside, exercising, doing a hobby. It all works. However, sometimes we need the guidance of a friendly and skilled professional. One thing we know for sure is that it is the relationship between the therapist and the client that best predicts outcome. So when other attempts to get better fall short, please consider finding a therapist that you think is supportive and helpful.

Still, I think gadget are fun and I’m looking for a good excuse to buy an iPad. Know of a helpful app? Please share!


  1. Michael

    Hi Hannah,

    I wrote a blog post ( ) earlier this year about a habit formation app called Lift. If you’re not already using it I highly recommend it to you and your patients!

    P.S. I was sent here by Jennifer (anotherjennifer) apparently we were Skillshare classmates earlier this year.

    • Hannah

      Thanks, Michael. I checked out your post. Sounds really interesting. I’ll keep checking out your blog, too. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Submit a Comment