Where in-person therapy is cost-prohibitive or inconvenient for clients, digital Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be a valuable way to receive professional, science-based treatment in a much more accessible format.
In this article, we’ll look into how online CBT can now help you help others from a distance, as well as some of the ways that CBT apps are making online therapy a reality for counselors, therapists, and even patients themselves.
Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Explained
Digital cognitive behavioral therapy, or digital CBT, is a branch of online or blended therapy where CBT-based treatments and interventions are used to help clients manage mental health symptoms.
They can be:
- Implemented with the help of a professional therapist, such as where live e-counseling sessions take place
- Self-guided, which involves self-administered exercises, techniques, and learning, or
- A combination of the two, which is a common approach to blended therapy seen in stepped care frameworks.
Digital CBT is a popular way to treat patients who want help with mood-related challenges such as depression, anxiety, or stress-related conditions.
They can involve cognitive reframing, restructuring, mood tracking, meditations, and a range of science-based interventions that fall under the iCBT umbrella.
CBT apps can help therapists deliver entire digital cognitive behavioral therapy solutions, from goal-setting and intervention design through to progress and results tracking.
8 Things To Look For In A CBT App
For professional therapists and mental health counselors, an all-in-one CBT app is generally the most convenient and effective way to share unique solutions in a HIPAA-compliant way.
These include specially designed features and tools that can help you deliver entire digital cognitive behavioral therapy solutions, from goal-setting and intervention design through to progress and results tracking.
Such tools include:
- Customizable intervention or activity designers: For creating exercises, psychoeducational content, assessments, practice documents, and therapy progress notes
- A library of templates: That can save plenty of prep time, even if you prefer to design your own solutions
- A Client or Patient Portal: Where your clients can receive, complete, and access CBT exercises and other interventions
- A Mobile Cognitive Behavioral Therapy App: As opposed to purely browser-based online solutions, these make digital CBT more accessible on smartphones or tablets
- Multimedia support: For integrating videos, images, audio, and other patient engagement resources into interventions
- Notifications, prompts, and updates: To remind patients to complete their activities
- Real-time results tracking: For more relevant insights into client progress and improvement, and
- HIPAA-compliant storage and sharing: Allowing you to protect your client’s confidentiality, as well as the privacy of their results.
A little further on, we’ll show how some of these critical e-mental health app functions can be incredibly valuable both in purely digital CBT and in blended counseling treatments.
Top 9 CBT Apps For Digital Therapy
Whether you’re after a CBT app to deliver digital therapy or simply want some homework assignments for clients, these free and paid apps use a range of psychology tools to help you, as well as research-based techniques and frameworks.
3 Top CBT Apps for Therapists
Quenza, ICANotes, and MyClientsPlus all have different benefits, but all of these can either be used to create your own digital content or enhance the way you deliver e-therapy.
Quenza is a drag-and-drop activity builder, treatment planning solution, and fully customizable practice management software that’s specially designed for CBT practitioners, coaches, counselors, and other therapists. It features a custom CBT intervention designer, a library of pre-made science-based exercises, tools, and assessments, and real-time results tracking functions for monitoring patient progress.
HIPAA-compliant, this easy-to-use online toolkit also has a Pathway Builder that can be used to create therapeutic solutions from start to finish, on top of:
- A private, secure Client Portal
- Therapy documentation and note-taking functions
- Multimedia uploads for video therapy, audio meditations, PDFs, and more
- Tools for building patient engagement, including updates and prompts, and
- Research-based scales and assessments for CBT
|Good For||Practice Management, Patient Engagement Solutions, Treatment Planning, e-Therapy, Online Psychiatry, Mental Health Coaching.|
|MyClientsPlus is a blended care solution with both practice management and digital therapy features. While it doesn’t have many treatment planning features, it can be useful for practitioners who want to interact with clients for live CBT sessions.|
On the practice admin side of things, MCP comes with native telehealth support, medical billing features that make it great for online psychiatry, and some other essentials such as insurance superbilling.
MCP also includes:
|Good For||Practice Management, Treatment Planning, Mental Health Coaching, Online Psychiatry|
|ICANotes is ideal if you’re a telepsychiatry provider who wants to deliver CBT as part of a more comprehensive telemedical treatment. Catering very well to large hospitals, e-clinics, and other mental health organizations, it comes with a vast wealth of tools for treatment planning, EHR management, documentation, and patient charting.|
ICANotes can’t be used to create custom CBT interventions, but it does offer:
|Good For||Telemedicine, Online Psychiatry, Treatment Planning, Online Psychotherapy|
6 Top CBT Apps for Clients
A multitude of self-help and psychoeducational mental health apps also offer interactive lessons, exercises, and homework for patients to work through on their smartphones or tablets.
These can be convenient, engaging ways to help your clients continue their treatments between formal sessions.
Even better, they can also be a good source of inspiration for creating your own online CBT interventions.
|This CBT Self-Help Guide can be a great complement to your online CBT sessions, offering a nice mix of background information on cognitive-behavioral therapy and practical activities. Some examples include self-relaxation exercises, simple stress management techniques, and cognitive restructuring methods for anyone who wants to manage depression or anxiety.|
|Name||Depression CBT Self-Help Guide|
|Good For||Mental Health Apps, Therapy Apps, Mental Health Coaching Apps, Experience Sampling Method|
|.With over 100k downloads, the NHS-approved Stress & Anxiety Companion has plenty of useful exercises, techniques, and frameworks to help clients cope with common symptoms of GAD, social anxiety, and other mental health conditions.|
Free to download with a variety of different exercise types, the app includes:
|Name||Stress & Anxiety Companion|
|Good For||Mental Health Apps, Therapy Apps, Mental Health Coaching Apps|
|A popular way for therapists to help clients with depression, stress, or anxiety between sessions, Sanvello is packed with self-care activities. self-guided coaching content, and quizzes. The platform itself is also a useful place for any clients who want to access peer support, with discussion forums, insightful articles, and other tools.|
Sanvello also offers:
|Good For||Online Psychotherapy, Mental Health Apps, e-Counseling, e-Coaching|
Thrive Mental Wellbeing is a research-based CBT app helping users avoid and manage anxiety, stress, and other mental health symptoms. It offers a combination of simple self-help techniques, relaxation exercises, and resilience-building tools for any client who wants access to quick and convenient activities on the go.
Designed by UK clinical experts, some of its telemental health features include:
|Good For||Mental Health Apps, Therapy Apps, Mental Health Coaching Apps|
|Moodfit is a simple CBT app that includes 200+ mood-enhancing activities, such as reframing and restructuring exercises. It also comes with informative lessons on challenging thoughts, self-reflection, self-awareness, and common treatments for depression, anxiety, stress, and more.|
Other Moodfit features include:
|Good For||Mental Health Apps, Experience Sampling Method, Mental Health Coaching|
|Happify includes science-based psychology and CBT interventions from scientists and behavioral health, designed as bite-size games, exercises, and quizzes. These mobile-compatible assessments and CBT interventions include:|
|Good For||Therapy apps, Mental Health Apps, Experience Sampling Method|
9 Unique Benefits of the Quenza App
One of the biggest upsides to practicing digital CBT is the flexibility and convenience it affords, with many of the best CBT apps offering a wealth of possibilities when it comes to designing custom interventions, psychological assessments, and treatments.
More Relevant Interventions
Quenza is a great example of how this works in practice, with specialty-specific drag-and-drop tools for creating unique assessments, quizzes, and other CBT activities:
A free feature of Quenza’s digital CBT toolkit, the custom Activity Builder is one example of how unique features can simplify and speed up the development of online treatments and standalone interventions.
For practitioners, this can be a much less time-intensive way to personalize course content and treatment plans.
Straightforward Treatment Planning
The CBT app also offers an integrated Pathway Builder, an example of how software with the right features can facilitate treatment planning.
As shown below, therapists can assemble complete treatments from their unique activities:
This example of a CBT treatment plan in progress illustrates how e-mental health professionals are free to individualize both intervention content and the treatment plan as a whole.
Using the software’s Pathway Builder, practitioners can save further time by pre-scheduling when content will be shared with their patients.
Real-time progress tracking is another important feature to look out for when choosing a CBT app for digital therapy.
As the screengrab shows, it can keep practitioners informed of key patient engagement metrics, such as when and how they interact with their materials:
One of Quenza’s unique advantages for iCBT is that it provides up-to-date information about whether a client has received, started, or completed an activity, as well as giving an overview of their results in a way that is HIPAA-compliant – thus private and secure. As shown here, this helps therapists use feedback to deliver more relevant, personalized treatments.
In a Nutshell
While your professional use cases for CBT software will vary, Quenza is a good example of how today’s medical technology can be used to greatly improve the efficacy and patient experience of iCBT solutions.
Whether your goal is to:
- Streamline practice administration with easy-to-use online form builders
- Share documents securely
- Store patient information privately
- Make treatments more convenient and accessible
- Brand your unique with corporate logotypes
- Promote your solutions with a medical outreach campaign
- Improve patient satisfaction with more engaging, interactive, and personal content, or
- All of the above, taking the time to choose a scalable, customizable CBT app for your practice is well worth doing right.
While digital CBT has been around for a while, practitioners today are now spoiled for choice when choosing how they want to implement their solutions.
Hopefully, this article has helped you clarify what you’d like to achieve, and showed you how you can achieve it using CBT apps for the best possible health outcomes for your clients. If you’ve had experience with any of these solutions, we’d love to hear about it in a comment.
To design and deliver your own CBT solutions, don’t forget to check out Quenza’s $1 trial.
Our 30-day trial will help you create effective, engaging interventions, assessments, and activities, and includes everything you need to help others improve their emotional wellbeing with your blended care solutions.
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-Caroline | Community Manager