In the line-up of therapeutic apps the “Virtual Hope Box”, designed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology stands out as a stellar example of what is possible.
According to the “About Us” section of the app, “the National Center for Telehealth and Technology designs, builds, tests and evaluates available and emerging technologies to deploy in support psychological health and traumatic brain injury recovery in the military community.” But you don’t have to be in the military to use it. You can download it for free to a smartphone or tablet.
The National Center says, “the purpose of the VHB is to help patients decrease their experience of distress by encouraging and facilitating healthy coping and emotion regulation skills”. It is not designed to be used as a self-help device. Working with your client you can personalize the content on the Virtual Hope box app to suit their specific needs. Anything that they find personally supportive or soothing or reminds them of positive moments in their lives. In short, whatever contributes to a sense of hope.
There are several sections of this app:
Remind Me – an area where you can place pictures, videos, music and recordings.
Distract Me – has games with varying levels of difficulty
Inspire Me – comes with pre-set quotes and the option to add your own
Relax Me – has a number of relaxation exercises that can also be personalized
Coping Tools – you can create coping cards and use an activity planner to plan positive activities (list of ideas provided) with the cool additional feature that you can text or email invitees right from the app.
In the top right hand corner of the app there is a phone symbol. If you click on it you can add a list of “support contacts”, people you may want to call in an emergency.
You don’t have to figure out how to use it with clients on your own! On the National Center’s website you will find a clinician’s guide and a user’s guide.
I can’t wait to use it with some of my clients.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA