A ther­a­pist in your palm

CityPress - - T# - Gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za FOR

While your best bet is def­i­nitely to con­tact de­pres­sion hot­lines like the free one of­fered by the SA De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety Group (Sadag) – 080 021 2223 – there are a few mo­bile apps out there that can make man­ag­ing your de­pres­sion a lit­tle more interactive.

The Talkspace ther­a­pist’s vote. app gets the AN APP Talkspace Cost: Free Avail­able on iOS at the App Store and on An­droid at the Google Play store

This in­spir­ing bit of hu­man-fo­cused tech is ba­si­cally like hav­ing a pro­fes­sional ther­a­pist in your pocket.

Af­ter a free on­line con­sul­ta­tion with one of the hun­dreds of pro­fes­sional psy­chol­o­gists and psy­chother­a­pists reg­is­tered with Talkspace, the app sets you up with a per­sonal ther­a­pist, and you can be­gin your text ther­apy ses­sions.

You need to pay $25 (R379) a week for the ser­vice from that point on­wards, which THAT guar­an­tees you im­me­di­ate con­tact with a ther­a­pist 24 hours a day. This sounds ex­pen­sive, but when you con­sider what it costs to sit in a ses­sion with an ac­tual ther­a­pist for an hour, it isn’t too bad. The app is also reg­u­larly up­dated with treat­ment pro­grammes, and in­cludes treat­ment for so­cial-me­dia de­pen­dency. It is su­per­se­cure and can be en­abled with a per­sonal pass­word to pro­tect your con­ver­sa­tions. Re­search sug­gests that on­line ther­apy may be more ef­fec­tive than tra­di­tional ther­apy, so this app may just be worth your while, at least un­til a South African ver­sion is de­vel­oped.

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