Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Is There An App for Stress?

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 19, 2015


Using a mobile application to help with stress? Very exciting. Anyone in the world with a smart phone can tap into a fund of knowledge that reminds him the value of self-care. Many of my readers might be shocked at my enthusiasm for this technology because there is no doctor/patient relationship to bring about hope and lasting change. Yet, I am excited about these applications because there is no pretense of a relationship. Unlike my issue with short-term, cookbook therapies (the Ts, as I call them), which has a person serve the role of therapist, but in fact, their role is one of “facilitator”, in the case of using a mobile app, the patient knows there is no human interaction. The patient is not teased with a relationship which could help them, only to be told after six to twelve sessions that they are “better” or “not better, but either way the care must be transitioned away from that dyad. I see these mobile apps as the modern-day “self-help” book, as the person knows they need a reminder about what they probably already know, but reading it, on the screen or in print, penetrates their defenses enough to facilitate change, and maybe to inspire deeper work with a psychotherapist, one day. Some innovations in mental health care are exciting and game changing. These mobile apps hold that promise.

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