It is no secret that technology is increasingly becoming available to a variety of healthcare professionals and many of them, including therapists, are taking advantage of it. Utilizing technology in the therapy room, if done correctly, can be useful in helping children find both fun and easy ways to continue practicing the coping skills they learn in session outside of the counseling room.
In fact, not only is it useful but also… it’s fun! There are many downloadable apps, for example, that you can purchase (or even find for free) that help children practice skills such as impulse control, emotional identification/regulation, and mindfulness.
You might be asking yourself–what is the benefit to utilizing, of all things, a therapy app? First, apps are usually inexpensive (if they cost anything at all) and they are a convenient way to actively be a part of your child’s therapeutic experience while helping them practice the coping skills they’re learning in the therapy room at home or on the go.
Another benefit to utilizing therapy apps is, oftentimes, they present an opportunity for you to practice the same coping skills your child in learning, so you can better model them for your child. Additionally, therapy apps are accessible and (while it is important to encourage your child to actively engage with their environment and not stay stuck behind a screen) are easy to find and use.
Finding therapy apps is relatively easy–you can do a quick online search if there is a particular skill you know your child and their therapist are working on as a part of your child’s treatment plan. In fact, I would highly encourage you to share your finds with your therapist! You can also ask your therapist if they have any apps that they recommend. You may also simply go to your app store and search directly for different therapy apps. Tip: When searching for a therapy app, check out the reviews. You can learn a lot about an app by reading other people’s experiences and analyzing their feedback.
There are apps available for all ages–children to teenager and many of them are apps you too can perhaps learn something from. While there are many (and I mean many) apps out there, not all of them may be for you and that’s okay. If you find you or your child aren’t really getting much out of a therapy app you can simply delete it! Of the apps I have come across, there are a few my clients (and myself if we’re being honest) have really enjoyed! I have listed them below with a brief description for you. If you would like to learn more about any of these apps (or other tools to help enhance your child’s therapeutic experience) please feel free to give us a call or schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. Note: Therapy apps should not be utilized as a substitute to actual therapy–please contact a therapist if you have concerns regarding your child’s mental wellness or health.
Recommended Therapy Apps
1) Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street: This app is designed for caregivers to use with their young children to help teach skills like deep breathing, self-control, and problem solving.
2) Smiling Mind: This app is designed to help children and adults navigate pressures and stressors associated with daily life through mindfulness!
3) Emotionary: This app is essentially an emotions dictionary and can be helpful in regard to expanding yours and your child’s emotional vocabulary while exploring different feelings.
4) Breathe Kids: This app sends your child on various missions to practice skills like deep breathing and meditation while keeping track of their progress along the way!
5) Virtual Hope Box: This app serves multiple purposes–it is organized into four categories that are designed to help calm and inspire your child while engaging them in healthy coping strategies!