DBT Spotlight Blog Series: DBT? There's an app for that.

It's day four of the DBT Spotlight Blog Series and you're probably getting the idea that DBT is a therapy that takes a lot of practice and dedication - it involves learning new skills to replace problematic skills that are no longer or never have been effective at building the life you want for yourself. While you're not alone in this process (in traditional DBT treatment you have support from your therapist, a skills group, and, ideally, have phone coaching sessions), downloadable applications for your cell phone can help you learn and apply DBT skills to your life outside of therapy sessions.

Here is a list of four DBT apps that can help you generalize your practice of DBT Skills:

1. DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach by Durham DBT, Inc.

Cost: $4.99                                Rating on iTunes: 4/5 stars, 15 ratings

DBT Diary Card App.jpg

Features:

  • Password protected
  • Diary Cards: Customize your own diary cards and easily keep track of problem behaviors, emotions, and skills used
  • Automatically or manually email your therapist a copy of your diary cards
  • DBT Reference: A list of all the DBT skills and any that you add yourself
  • Coaching: Guides you to a skill that may be helpful
  • 911 skills: Your emergency skills are just a tap away
  • Achievements: Sends reinforcing messages to keep you on the right track

2. DBT Self-Help by Cognitus Psykoterapi & Utveckling

Cost: $8.99                                Rating on iTunes: 4/5 stars, 23 ratings

DBT App 2 layout.jpg

Features:

  • Intuitive navigation with history and help function, notes, news & updates
  • The option to tailor and modify a personalized crisis list of skills for rapid access in difficult and critical situations
  • Create your own skills lists of personally selected skills
  • Pregenerated skills lists for managing anger, shame, sadness, and fear
  • Exercises for practicing and registring skills, with the options to save and send the data by mail

3. DBT Diary by PsychDataSystems, LLC.

Cost: $4.99                                Rating on iTunes: 3.5/5 stars, 7 ratings

DBT app 3 layout.jpg

Features:

  • Record Urges, Emotions and Skills (with notes)
  • Review your diary at any time (for example, at your therapy session with your therapist)
  • Email PDF diary reports to your therapists for selectable date ranges
  • Inspiring quotes rotate on the main menu
  • With DBT Diary, a user can record the details of Urges, Emotions, and the four skills categories (Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness)

4. DBT Review by DBT Center

Cost: $0.99                                Rating on iTunes: 3.5/5 stars, 7 ratings

DBT app 4 layout.jpg

Features:

  • Review the four DBT skills modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Yes/No questions to help you figure out which skill set might be useful for you

Up and coming: Be on the look out for the up and coming DBT Skills App by Behavioral Tech, LLC. No release date is given so check the website periodically for availability. Coming from Marsha Linehan and Behavioral Tech, LLC., which is THE DBT affiliated company, I expect great things. 

Come back tomorrow and check out the last day of the DBT Spotlight Blog Series: Helpful DBT Resources.

-Chelsea

*Note: Mobile apps should never replace the role of a therapist. Mobile apps are most helpful when used with the aid of a DBT-trained therapist. These apps can be a great supplement to therapy and augment the work between sessions. Remember that if you are actively suicidal or engaging in self-injurious behaviors, you need to be working with a therapist.