An app to support people with PTSD who are undergoing prolonged exposure therapy for CBT with a therapist.
What does the app do?
PE Coach 2 app is for CBT therapists providing prolonged exposure (PE) therapy to people experiencing PTSD. The app follows the Veteran Affair’s 5 session protocol for PE. It will be useful for clinicians to download the clinician’s guide to the app before using it. The therapist’s client downloads the app, which allows users to:
- set up and track therapy sessions, including reminders
- do tasks to prepare for therapy sessions
- record sessions in a secure way
- complete assessment tools in real time.
For the complete app description, go to the app website, Google Play, App Store or, for a more detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Provides good information about avoidance and anxiety and how to address these.
✔ If used by a competent therapist with the client, it will be useful tool.
✔ Testing and tracking useful.
✔ Breathing tool good.
✘ The ‘About’ tab needs to be more obvious, with better instructions for how the app works. Therapy clients may wish to watch an instructional video about the app found here: myvaapps.com/pexp, while therapists will do better if they read the clinicians' guide to the app.
✘ Does not provide sequential session by session structure or session programme, but therapists can read the clinicians guide which is provided online but not with the app. Relies on the therapist being competent and familiar with the VA PE therapy protocol.
✘ Could do with more tools than just breathing.
✘ Not great graphics – old style, and not easily navigable.
✘ No explanation of tests.
- April 2022; Version: 1.1.5; Android
- May 2020; Version: 2.0; Apple iOS
Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy American Psychological Association
This app has been reviewed by other independent websites:
PE Coach 2 PsyberGuide
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Reviewer: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology
Date of review: April 2022
Comments: Overall, PE Coach 2 app is for specific use in prolonged exposure (PE) therapy with a CBT therapist who is familiar with this particular treatment protocol. It will be useful for those using it in this way to guide and structure sessions and support homework completion, which is extensive under this protocol. It will be very useful for therapists working with limited sessions and will aid in keeping the treatment on track. It would be improved if more information on its use was provided, but this is available online, if searched for. It is not terribly useful for individuals wanting self help for PTSD but does contain some useful information about PTSD and treatment with PE as well as a useful breathing exercise.
NZ relevance: The app is largely to support American veterans undergoing a specific treatment protocol in therapy but the functions will still be useful for those undergoing similar therapy in New Zealand. Emergency contact numbers are only relevant to US citizens.
Safety concerns: None, but emergency telephone numbers are for US veterans only.
Reviewer: Tina Earl, Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice
Date of review: May 2020
Comments: PE Coach 2 app is a prolonged exposure (PE) strategy to address the PTSD symptom of avoidance and the anxiety this creates. It is most useful for people experiencing avoidance and anxiety symptoms of PTSD who are not recovering and aims to address avoidance symptoms that may in turn reduce anxiety or depression. Overall, if the app’s graphics, session structure and content, and navigation, was improved then it would be more easy to use, as the content is good and it is the presentation that lets it down.
Safety concerns: A cautionary statement is needed regarding who this app might not be suitable for, and that this technique may be risky for some and therefore therapist assessment is needed. Also a statement about personal safety and risk. Although they do mention this under the ‘Guilt and Shame’ tab.
New Zealand relevance: Suitable for a New Zealand audience, but may not be appropriate for cultural groups unless adapted.