I’m continuing to host therapy meetings by web conference; I’m not planning a return to in-office sessions. Meetings are held by a HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom or I can use VSee.com (also free to clients and HIPAA-compliant).
I purchased a subscription to SexSmartFilms.com, a collection of hundreds of educational and therapeutic videos for common sex therapy concerns. I look forward to providing customized video recommendations to clients. Without a subscription, each video can be viewed one time for about $1.00.
If you have a history of suicidal thoughts or know someone who died by suicide, you may want to look into a new research project called Our Data Helps by Qntfy. You can donate social media data (from online activity) and/or fitness & sensory data (from wearable devices) to help researchers learn more about why suicides happen and how they can be prevented. The project will analyse the language, physical data, and media patterns of people who sign up to help the project.
Many psychology researchers, including the Veterans Administration, are studying the effects of mental health applications. While indiscriminate screen time is widely known to reduce peoples’ focus, some research indicates that consistent, intentional use of some mental health apps tends to boost self-awareness; effectiveness; and happiness. The Veterans Administration is specifically studying the app PTSD Coach, which I would like to use with a client. Please let me know if you would like to participate in that process! Here are some applications I already find useful with many of my clients:
- Narrative Therapy Questions: helps the participant conduct a deep self-interview about their preferred life direction and related obstacles
- Calm: 100+ guided meditations to choose from. The app will track the dates and lengths of of your meditations
- Relax: helps practice diaphragmatic breathing, which is good for nervous system regulation and panic-attack prevention
- Mood Tracker: charts symptom severity/remissions/patterns based on pre-programmed OR customized data schemes
An anxious computer programmer reprogrammed his anxiety. First, he outlined his worries into a computer program. Then, the program emailed him anxious messages throughout each day. The programmer read the messages–as if they were comical spam messages. This process helped him emotionally distance from worry and deconstruct anxiety in real time.
The original audio story can be found here: here
Here’s a list of 81 Mental Health Resources, including apps and community support groups.
Each program has it’s potential benefits. Taken as a whole, this list points out that MANY people are working individually and collectively to make this world a more accessible, responsible, and peaceful place. If you try one of these programs, I’d like to hear about your experience.
I purchased a practice management software called Therapy Appointment. This tool allows you to book appointments with me online (as my schedule allows and with at least 48 hours notice). You will also have the option to sign up for appointment reminders–via email, phone call or text. Therapy Appointment can also generate superbills, which can be useful with Health Savings Accounts, Out-of-Network health programs, and tax reimbursement. All transactions are HIPAA compliant.When I re-open my practice to new clients, I will post a Therapy Appointment link on this website.
Update: 5/23/14: The Therapy Appointment link has been added.
This morning, I downloaded a new app: The Physician’s Desk Reference, 68th Edition. It’s a searchable book that provides information about prescription drugs: their uses and risks. Decades of research at my fingertips. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I do not prescribe medications. I appreciate this information though, as it facilitates consultation with doctors and other medical professionals.
I looked up non-medical applications too. An article called The 8 Best Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind offers non-pharmaceutical tools. Some applications help users build structure into their lives. Other applications help users develop cognitive skills–such as practicing focus and the ability to calm oneself through music, poetry, or meditation.