Instant Access DBT

DBT Self-Help App


Participant review is at the bottom.


There are menus to help you progress through the stages of learning a DBT skill of your choice.


DBT Self-help is a tool that helps you manage overwhelming emotions, break destructive impulsive behaviors, navigate relationships and cultivate mindfulness by teaching you skills. It contains skill descriptions complete with rationale and practice tips that will enable you to develop and practice the needed skills.

The skills are based upon the principles and skills taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skill classes.

The app can be used in conjunction with psychotherapy or as a standalone self-help intervention as the skills can be implemented into many situations and settings.


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;
* Excercises for practicing and registring skills, with the options to save and send the data by mail;
* The app supports the following languages: English, Swedish.


The app will be further developed to include a diary card function this summer. The app will also become available on the Android market in march 2012.


You get information about each skill in each module, including a description of the skill and the rationale for how using the skill could benefit you.


When you are ready to begin typing in information, you can write about a situation you had where you tried to use a skill or wanted to use a skill or an upcoming situation where you plan to use a skill.


Everything you write will be saved so you view it later or share it with your therapist via email.


My Personal Experience with using this app for the first time:

The situation – moving stuff for apartment renovations.

I picked up the app and began to look for a skill that I could use to help my situation. It took a little time before I learned the layered tabbing method used in the app. I noticed right away that the tabs often took up so much of the screen until I noticed that the arrows in upper left allow me to make the tabs smaller. Soon, I also found that there were several paths to the same information which I liked so I could make it work for me.


As I read the introduction and instructions, I thought they were written well, concise and logical. I had no trouble following or understanding what I was reading. I went to the distress tolerance skills and read the explanation and looked at the list of skills trying figure out which one I thought most useful at this time and I decided on “One thing at a time” in the Distress tolerance skills. I read the rationale, description and practice tips. The reading was very easy for me. Even though I am very familiar with the skills, if I had written the words myself, I would have written the same descriptions. I found the practice tips most helpful.

I began a new practice session. I went through it step by step. At first, I wasn't going to read all the information about the skill, but decided to do it anyway and I'm glad I did because despite my familiarity, as I was doing the practice, when I got stuck, I relied on the descriptions.

It was immediately obvious that I was struggling most with overwhelm and fear. So going on to practice, one of the things going on in my life currently is that I live in an apartment building with all seniors and/or disabled people. The management received a grant to renovate the place. During this summer, we have been on a constant schedule as the constructions workers do things by sections. The residents are given plenty of notice and the workers are friendly, but I don’t have help from family and friends. So after working at my art studio all day, I come home and feel like I'm living in a tornado disaster area. When I'm already tired, I look at all the stuff in the house and make myself so tired just thinking about it, that I get depressed from overwhelm and revert to old thinking like “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t do anything right.”


So, I’m using the “One thing at a time” part of the app., reading the information and then tackling moving a section of boxes to pack. I stayed with it for  a while, but I tend to get easily distracted by something else and start that thing instead. Normally, this is just a circular thing where everything e v e n t u a l l y gets done, but I had a second awareness about me on that day and I would remember I was working on a DBT skill on my iPod Touch. It helped to carry the iPod
with me around my neck to help remind me what I was about. Thus, I was more effective than usual. I found myself feeling so good about what was getting done, that it didn't seem to take any energy at all.

When I got hungry, I had to change focus to cook dinner. After I ate and looked around, I found myself once again tempted into overwhelm. So instead, I focused on using DBT skills and paid attention to what I had done, rather than what I had not. I could feel my energy dropping and my
head transitioning, so I went back to follow up on the practice session on the iPod. After I wrote it all up, I emailed the result to myself so I could read it on the bigger screen.

Before I stopped, I wandered over to the skill list and decided to add my first emotion to the list - Overwhelm. I was able to get my new description entered and was glad that I would have that to refer back to later.

Overall, the practice section and going through the app has left me excited to do it again and excited to announce it to the other clients and professionals on the DBT site. I think this app has the potential to help many people suffering from mental illnesses.


You can read more reviews on iTunes or the DSH website.

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