I recently received the following tweet from from a follower, asking for a recommendation
— Larissa Carpenter (@3momtri) October 17, 2013
I have lots of ideas. Here are a few of them that I love to use in clinical social work practice:
Ambiance is great for therapy because it offers a myriad of various different sounds that promote relaxation. This app is ideal for background noise in a therapy in lieu of a white noise machine. For clients, it may be useful as a tool to promote relaxation on their own. It’s a great app for selecting different types of sounds such as gentle or stormy rain, chimes, and ocean waves.
The benefit of Ambience is a multi-platform app that is available for PC, OSX, iOS and Android.
For iOS, you have two flavors to choose from: a free and paid version. The paid version is well worth the money.
Serenity: The Relaxation App
Serenity is an iOS app I have reviewed before. I think it’s a good therapy tool because the app invokes a peaceful feeling in the visual and auditory stimulation that a user is exposed to. In therapy, the audio that accompanies the visual may be useful. For therapy modalities that encourage a client to find a peaceful place, the visual imagery and animations that this app offers is soothing. Unfortunately, it’ s monoplatform, but beautiful to look at on your iOS device.
WHY I LOVE THIS APP: The video can stream to an Apple TV (2nd Generation or later) through AirPlay. The video shows spectacularly on an HD Television!
Coffitivity is a great app for therapy if you are want an app that recreates the ambiance of a coffee shop. The app can be utilized as an exposure therapy tool for a client dealing with social anxiety. For clients, it helps combat loneliness and isolation because the app also tricks you to think that you’re not alone.
For social workers, it’s very useful in an office as ambient background noise that eliminates distractions – I’ve tried and tested this in my office. Add some fresh brewed coffee in your favorite social worker mug, and you have the genuine coffee experience!
The app was designed by Coffitivity to promote creativity:
It’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space, and a loud workplace can be frustrating and distracting. But, the calm mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is just what you need to get your creative juices flowing.
Meditation Oasis makes apps for iOS and Android that are incredibly useful for therapy; I have reviewed their iOS app extensively in this article. For a therapist that is learning how to implement therapy in their sessions, this is a good model as to how to do it well and effectively. For clients, I recommend the app (or any free mindfulness-based YouTube guided meditation) as part of mental hygiene – meditation or prayer before bed and upon waking up to promote spiritual health!
I believe that this app provides an opportunity for a client to develop self-efficacy to reduce anxiety and depression. Self-efficacy is the belief that change is attainable; the higher self-efficacy is, the more likely a client will be able to implement and adhere to change. In tandem with psychoeducation about mindfulness practice, if a client buys in to the intervention, they can experience awesome benefits of achieving aforementioned desired outcomes with the guided mindfulness practice that this app provides.
I bought a fabulous Tibetan singing bowl two years ago that accompanies me to my current clinical social work side-gig. Sometimes, I forget it from home so I rely on Insight Timer. I use the singing bowl sound to indicate the start and end of a meditation – to bring gentle awareness to the present.
Insight Timer is a great app for therapy! Singing bowls are expensive and sometimes hard to transport. This app provides you with nine types of singing bowl sounds to choose from. In addition, the app also provides tracking of your meditative practice and has elements of unifying a community of meditating practitioners.
The app is available for iOS and Android users. Definitely worth checking out!