Cognitus Psykoterapi och Utveckling

Soon to be released: A therapeutic self-help app based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Press release   •   Jun 13, 2011 15:32 EDT

Cognitus Psychotherapy and Development is in full swing with its development of a psychotherapeutic self-help tool based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

The DBT Self-Help Skills Guide is a therapeutic self-help tool for the Apple iPhone/iPad that helps users to manage overwhelming emotions and close relationships, and to be mindful in their lives. The application gives the users access to detailed descriptions of the skills involved in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the theory that lies behind it. It also provides instructions for exercises in practicing the skills. Users record their exercises and results and have access to an easy to understand summary. The skills are divided into four modules within each area of improvement: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Skills, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance (of overwhelming emotions).

The content is built on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the skills are based on the skills structure developed by Professor Marsha Linehan, primarily to help people with borderline personality disorder involving self-harming and suicidal behavior. The content of the application is being developed in collaboration with two of Sweden’s leading DBT therapists, Elizabeth Malmkvist and Anita Linner, who are scrutinizing and approving the material. The DBT Self-Help App is being developed for the Apple iPhone and iPad and will be sold via the App Store to an international market. DBT Self-Help supports several languages and is initially to be released in English and Swedish.

The DBT Self-Help App can also be used during ongoing treatment with Dialectical Behavior Therapy or Cognitive Behavior Therapy, where the application will enhance and facilitate the generalization of skills into situations where they are genuinely needed.

Overwhelming emotions cause great suffering to individuals and those around them, and in some cases can drive people to destructive behavior. The difficulties people experience in coping with their emotions can also cause problems in relationships and seriously damage people’s quality of life.

Users have the opportunity to learn to:

* Use effective skills to manage and regulate emotions, act in relationships, and be mindful in their lives;
* Cope with overwhelming emotions without acting impulsively;
* Identify and regulate their emotions, and change their behavior to increase the positive emotions in their lives;
* Increase their level of mindfulness and strengthen their awareness of what is happening right here and now.

The application includes the following functions:

* Intuitive navigation, including a help function;
* The ability to tailor and modify a personalized crisis list of skills for rapid access in difficult and critical situations;
* The facility for users to create their own skills lists of personally selected skills;
* Pregenerated skills lists for managing anger, shame, sadness, and fear;
* A practice form for practicing and recording skills, with the option to save notes;
* The facility to protect the application and its content using a personal password. The application enables patients to have the DBT skills to hand when they are most needed – a personal crisis list of preselected skills that help patients to manage their painful emotions and to continue to work towards their goals.

It is planned that the DBT Self-Help App will be available in the App Store in July 2011.

For more information, please contact:

Andreas Nordlund
Cognitus Psychotherapy and Development
PO Box 241 30
SE-400 22 Gothenburg

Specialized in educational psychotherapy dvds and therapeutic tools on mobile platforms and web.