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Mobile Apps to replace therapists?

Many people are suffering from mental distress and it is in these recent years that more people are becoming aware of their own problems as well as the problems of others. People started to go for treatments, to the counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists, for their mental wellbeing. You can book therapists online or traditionally go to a clinic/hospital for an appointment.

Since technology is getting advanced day by day, as a matter of fact, people can be treated at their home by themselves as well. There are various mobile applications to help you with your mental health and make it supposedly better by tracking your mental status on its own without any help from trained therapists. It is quite beneficial actually, as it tracks your mental health status, notifies you from time to time, and of course, it is really handy and cheaper as compared to physically going to a clinic or a hospital. These mental health applications are truly a wonderful innovation, especially in this COVID-19 era where it is unsafe to go out of your houses and meet people. It also gives you the opportunity to meet with a therapist/counselor through the apps and have one on one sessions online.

However, the real question here is, ‘Are these mobile apps more beneficial than the traditional counseling sessions?’ In my personal opinion, mobile apps can only help you to a certain level; It means these apps cannot treat any mental issues that are severe in nature. You should never diagnose yourself and take the help of mobile applications because it could mislead you and could even worsen your mental health.

You should never diagnose yourself and take the help of mobile applications because it could mislead you and could even worsen your mental health.

I have tried one of these apps (name: InnerHour) and I have done many kinds of research about the same, and in my sincere opinion, it could help you with mild symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, or anger but it is not for severe issues. The app that I used also provides options for an actual appointment with a mental health professional, which is a good point but it is not necessary that every app have this same feature. Therefore, there is a chance of people with less knowledge about mental health issues diagnosing themselves and worsening their current mental health.

This app provides many weekly/monthly plans that are paid. There is no professional support to choose the right plan, so there is a possibility of us choosing a not-that-accurate plan for our betterment and waste our time and money. So, it is much better to go to a psychologist/psychiatrist primarily.

As an aspiring psychologist, it is difficult to see people considering mobile applications than consulting a mental health professional. When you meet with a psychologist or a psychiatrist face-to-face, the environment and their professionalism make your problem easier to resolve and give you relief from your suffering. The mobile apps are developed gradually and people may face many issues technically as well which could increase their frustration and irritability that might become the reason for magnifying their existing mental illness. Confidentiality is another factor to be considered, when you go to a psychiatrist/psychologist, every information you give to them is entirely and strictly confidential but these mobile applications cannot guarantee that.

I agree these mobile applications are effective for the betterment of your mental health but only until a certain level as it merely helps you with milder issues and not with major psychological problems. On the other hand, consulting a professional would avoid any kind of issues and will definitely help you out as they are well trained for the enhancement of your mental wellbeing.


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