Mayo Clinic released an app earlier this week that aims to be the first self-help tool that actually coaches people to overcome their demons, all for the nifty price of $4.99.
Called Anxiety Coach, the app claims to do no other self-help app can – help “people conquer their fears by guiding them through a series of confidence-building exercises while simultaneously tracking anxiety levels in real time and gauging their progress.”
The app is designed for people with anxiety levels across the spectrum ranging from stage fright to more deeper, severe symptoms that may require them to see a healthcare provider. In the case of the latter, the app is meant to help in tracking and fighting bouts of anxiety in between sessions with the psychiatrist or other care provider.
Anxiety Coach is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, that Mayo considers the most effective psychotherapy to manage human fears. The therapy puts a premium on confronting challenging situations to help overcome fear instead of teaching someone how to relax.
The app was developed by two clinical psychologists -Stephen Whiteside, director of the Pediatric Anxiety Disorders Program at Mayo Clinic, and Jonathan Abramowitz, an adult anxiety disorders specialist at the University of North Carolina.
’The app is based on a long history of clinical research of what is helpful in conquering anxiety,’ Dr. Whiteside says. ’It really challenges people to face their fears, as opposed to other apps that focus on relaxation strategy but don’t get to the core of what is helpful in the long term.’
Both the clinical psychologists and Mayo Clinic will share a percentage of the revenue for each app that is downloaded while the rest will go to Apple.
At $4.99, it’s a little more expensive than other apps – Relax HD is $2.99, T2 Mood Tracker is free – but it is also cheaper than some others like the DBT Self-help app that costs $8.99.
Here’s what people will get when they download Anxiety Coach
- Short self-test to measure the severity of fears and worries
- Ability to design a personal plan to target individual fears and worries
- Library of more than 500 activities that people have found to help master a variety of fears and worries including:
- Social anxiety, obsessions and compulsions, specific fears, separation anxiety, panic attacks, trauma-related anxiety, and general worries
- Track anxiety while challenging fears and worries in real-life situations
- Record and view progress
- Tools to learn about when anxiety becomes a problem and how to seek treatment
Apple usually takes a few days to make apps available to the App Store. As of Thursday morning, the Anxiety Coach wasn’t yet available.
[Photo Credit: Conquering Stress from Big Stock Photos]
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