Some people find apps to be helpful in their psychotherapy. However, there are so many that it is hard to know which to choose. A recent search of the Apple App store found 1,490 for anxiety treatment, 948 for depression treatment, and 1,197 for mindfulness instruction (Sandmaier, 2016). Fortunately, two credible sources (Sandmaier, 2016: Simmons et al., 2016) have endorsed a few of them as worthy of consideration:
For mindfulness/relaxation - Breathe2Relax, Tactical Breather, Mindfulness Coach, & iMindfulness
For mood trackers - The Mind mood Monitor (M3), Optimism, & Mood 24/7
For anxiety - Self-Help Anxiety Management (SAM) & Panic Relief
However, there are some reasons to be cautious. The criteria that the endorsers used are more than a little vague. Also, it is important to know that there is little to no empirical support for any of the apps. Privacy is an issue as well. Another kind of warning can be offered especially to those tempted to use apps instead of psychotherapy. That is, apps, like Skype and Facetime, are no substitute for in-person therapy (Turkle, 2016). It is widely accepted that the patient-therapist relationship is a potent change factor no matter the theoretical orientation of the therapist (Stricker, 2010). The patient-therapist relationship is at its most potent when the patient and therapist are face-to-face in the therapist's office.
Sandmaier, M. (2016, November/December). Left to our own devices. Psychotherapy Networker , 20-27 &52.
Simmons, K.; Garcia, E.; Howell, M. K.; & Leong, S. Personalizing, delivering and monitoring behavioral health interventions: An annotated bibliography of the best available apps. The Register Report. 42 , 46-54.
Stricker, G. (2010). Psychotherapy Integration . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Turkle, S. (2016). The empathy gap. Psychotherapy Networker, 40( 6), 28-33 & 54-55.