Aunty Dee is a free online tool that can be accessed on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. The tool aims to help people work through a problem or problems. By encouraging users to think about, reflect and explore their problems in a structured way, users can proactively find solutions to their problems and then act. Although anyone can use the tool, it is aimed at Pasifika and Māori young people aged 14–25 years. The website also has a library of tips and tricks for some common problems such as trouble sleeping or problems with relationships, friends, health and school. For the complete description, go to the Aunty Dee website and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Easy to use.
✔ Uses well known cognitive behavioural therapy strategy to help users solve their problems.
✔ Known to enhance mood.
✔ Attractive and engaging format.
✔ Users develop their own solutions rather than being given ideas by website.
✔ Can send solutions to self via e-mail to remind self to follow through with plan.
✔ Designed with Pasifika youth in mind but accessible and useful for all ages and ethnicities.
✔ Website contains other helpful advice including detailed information on how to get further help.
✔ Link to live online chat with a counsellor is available on website.
✘ Written format may not appeal to all users. Success depends on willingness to engage with reading and writing responses.
Date of review: March 2022 Platform reviewed: Website
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Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team. Reviewed By: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology
Last reviewed: 04 Apr 2022
Reviewer: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology Date of review: March 2022 Comments: Aunty Dee is a structured problem solving tool. It provides a series of easy steps to help generate solutions for hard to solve problems experienced by individuals and whānau. Developed for Pasifika youth aged 14–25 but is useful for all New Zealanders. Users will gain help solving difficult life problems using structured problem solving, a technique from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which takes users through a series of simple steps to solve problems. This technique has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression.
Overall, this is a brilliant website that provides a fun and interactive version of a traditional cognitive behavioural therapy tool. It could be improved further by providing an audio version with provision for verbal responses to be recorded. I have used this app with many of my clients who have found it simple and rewarding to use. It’s adaptation for a Pasifika audience by providing an “Aunty” to share your problems improves engagement for all audiences. Safety concerns: No safety concerns. Great crisis help options provided in easy to find “Get Urgent Help” page
Reviewer: Sharon Moore, Clinical Psychologist, Auckland Date of review: May 2018 Comments: The app is for anyone who would benefit from engaging in problem solving. The app facilitates clear identification of problems/ stressors and the impact these are having on users live; prompts user to identify potential solutions – explores the pros & cons of each and encourages users to identify their preferred solution. The app prompts users to identify the steps that are required to progress them towards their preferred solution in addition to getting them to identify when they will take the next step (towards their goal). Safety concerns: No safety concerns. The terms & conditions are easy to understand; however not everyone will read these.
Reviewer: Jodie Black, Lecturer, Otago Polytechnic Date of review: May 2018 Comments: The app is for people who have a lot of problems or thoughts swimming around in their head and feel overwhelmed or stuck. It helps you take a step by step approach for working through a problem. By getting all the different thoughts and ideas in order, it should be easier to work out what to try next. This website was designed in New Zealand with young pacific people in mind, however it is relevant for all New Zealanders and can be used by any age and any ethnicity. It is a great website for people that like to, or need to, get out of their heads and see the problem and options in an easier to manage way. This website has the potential to help people move forward in tackling their problems. It is built on structured problem solving which is well researched and included in some forms of counselling. Safety concerns: None.
Reviewer: Amy G, Christchurch Date of review: January 2019 Comments: I like how Aunty Dee guides you through identifying what the actual problem is (this alone almost solved my problem!), weighing up the pro’s and con’s, and coming up with the right solution for me. I liked how at the end you can email a copy of everything to yourself (or whanau) so you have notes to help you work on the problem. Nothing to dislike about the app!
Reviewer: Member of the public, Auckland Date of review: December 2019 Comments: Really helped me solve my problem - thank you! I like how simple it is; not one of those apps that tried to do 20 different things for you.