Today I want to discuss an app that I use frequently with my clients to practice skills that I teach in therapy. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps to teach individuals to challenge and change maladaptive thought patterns and learn to replace them with more balanced and adaptive thoughts. This skill takes practice and is best accompanied by a “thought record”, an integral tool to learning the skill of cognitive restructuring. A thought record is a tool that helps individuals to break down their experience into several components that allows them to see the impact of their thoughts on the resulting emotion and choices that they make in reaction to a situation. The columns in a thought record include: situation, emotion, automatic thought, cognitive distortions and the evidence surrounding the automatic thought, and a final column for the alternative thought that replaces the original thought.
Paper and pencil thought records are the traditional method of practicing this technique. For many individuals paper and pencil is effective but digital apps can be a helpful alternative for people who prefer the ease of typing and the accessibility of having the thought record structure on their phones.
The app called CBT Thought Diary, which is available for free on the Appstore to download to an iPhone, iPad or apple watch, smoothly helps the user to complete all necessary sections of a traditional thought record. This app allows the user to practice cognitive restructuring on a daily basis and all entries are maintained in a list in your app so that you can look back on your previous entries for later reflection.
Using this app with the guidance of a trained CBT therapist would be ideal and ensure that one is assisted in properly challenging and restructuring maladaptive automatic thoughts. However, this app can also be used for self help purposes. The current circumstances of our world has lead to an increase of need for psychological support and resources to help oneself. This app may be a helpful addition to an individuals mental health toolkit. Another feature that I appreciate about this app is that it provides that additional option to record a gratitude. So even if you find that you are not experiencing many negative or anxious thoughts and you want to continue the habit of reflection and cognitive awareness this app also provides a place to practice recognizing the good things that take place in our lives.
Have you used this app before? Let us know your thoughts and reviews of this app on our social platforms.
For a link to download this free app CLICK HERE.
Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.
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