DBT Therapy Apps for the iPhone and Android
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a widely-used treatment for mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, impulsivity and relationship problems. DBT uses evidence-based skills and techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Buddhism. Mobile apps based on DBT may be beneficial in increasing access to care and supplementing in-person DBT sessions. Furthermore, apps supporting suicide focused DBT like safety planning or accessing crisis lines could assist individuals at risk for suicide develop more resilient coping strategies while preventing relapse during suicidal crises.
At least six apps related to DBT were identified in Google Play and iOS app stores and reviewed for content and quality using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). The MARS assessed overall quality, engagement, function, aesthetics, information, and usability of each included app.
The MARS total and subscale scores were closely tied to user app ratings, average review numbers, and DBT features included within each application. Our ratings were also corroborated with these scores to demonstrate that all areas reviewed had consistent quality across all reviewed apps.
DBT Self-Help is an app designed to assist those dealing with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties such as managing overwhelming emotions; breaking destructive impulsive behaviours; managing relationships; and cultivating mindfulness. Based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy principles, this comprehensive app offers skill descriptions complete with rationales and practice tips that can be utilized in daily life.
This course includes over 100 video lessons and 200 animations, with the option to take notes for future reference. Plus, it has a diary card you can customize with goals and target behaviors; additionally, you can check your progress through summary screens and analytics.
Daily DBT Diary and Skills Coach is an iPhone app designed to help users recognize their behaviors and increase self-reflection. It features a customizable diary card with goals in mind, charts/graphs on progress, references for skills usage, as well as coaching support on when to apply them. Plus, you can share this card with your therapist before each session for added accountability.
DBT Coach is an effective yet user-friendly tool rooted in clinical rigor and evidence-based techniques of dialectical behavior therapy. It has been regularly reviewed and quoted in journals. Most users experience significant improvements to their assessment scores within the first 90 days after starting with DBT Coach.
This app is designed for everyone and can be downloaded on either iPhone or iPad. It provides a customizable DBT diary card that focuses on behaviors you wish to increase or decrease, along with a calendar and reference section for DBT theory. Plus, there’s even an email feature that allows you to send the diary card directly to your therapist before each session.
Furthermore, the app had the capacity to store information entered by users over multiple days or weeks on a secure server that could be accessed by both the person and their therapist during therapy sessions. This feature proved particularly helpful in helping individuals identify challenging situations during face-to-face sessions and recall these instances during recall sessions.