An app to help people become more aware of unhelpful beliefs.
||By Thinkladder Ltd
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy self-help
- Insights and affirmations
- Alerts and reminders
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|Security and privacy
||Does the app:
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- collect medical information? No
- require a login? No
- have password protection? Yes
- require internet access? Yes
What does the app do?
This NZ-developed app offers self-help based on cognitive behavioural therapy techniques. Users choose a theme they want to explore such as ‘perfectionism’ and ‘comparing myself to others’ and scroll through a list of associated symptoms and unhelpful beliefs. They can read or listen to short insights that challenge those beliefs. The app allows users to share an insight with others and set up reminders to read it at a certain time of the day. For a more detailed description of the app, see App website, iTunes or Google Play and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Helps users identify situations, reactions and beliefs that cause distress or are unhelpful.
✔ Helps users identify more helpful ways of thinking about these situations and beliefs.
✔ Users can set up reminders of new chosen beliefs or “insights”.
✔ Visually appealing.
✔ Easy to use.
✘ Developers describe app as based on cognitive behavioural therapy but cognitive behavioural therapy does not suggest the use of regularly repeated affirmations, rather that people develop their own challenges to negative automatic thoughts by asking questions or using other particular skills and strategies.
✘ “Themes” or life problems are said to be sourced from DSM-5 and ICD-11, but this does not appear to be the case.
✘ Not appropriate as a treatment tool for common mental health conditions.
✘ Intervention provided is superficial and does not help users develop tools and strategies for coping with difficult situations.
✘ Behavioural aspects of problem areas are not addressed, missing a key aspect of changing or challenging beliefs in CBT.
✘Not all functions described in the app’s instructions are functional currently, eg, can’t set up audio versions of “insights” and can’t set reminders for use in particular locations.
- March 2022, 1.16.0, Android
- November 2017, 1.0.3, Apple iOS
|If you are the developer and would like to provide updated information about this app, please email the app library manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review of Self Help Anxiety Assessment app iMedicalApps, July 2015
Bakker D, Kazantzis N, Rickwood D, et al. Mental Health Smartphone Apps: Review and Evidence-Based Recommendations for Future Developments. JMIR Ment Health. 2016 Mar 1;3(1):e7.
Van Singer M, Chatton A, Khazaal Y. Quality of Smartphone Apps Related to Panic Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 14;6:96.
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Reviewer: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology
Date: March, 2022
Comments: Thinkladder app helps users develop a suite of affirmations or “insights” based on areas in their lives that they are struggling with and the unhelpful beliefs they hold in relation to these areas. Users can use the app to schedule daily reminders of these affirmations.
The app may be of use to those who enjoy using daily affirmations but fails in its attempts to deliver cognitive behaviour therapy skills that can be used to treat common mental illnesses. Although useful for helping users to identify self-limiting beliefs, it does not help them to develop the tools to challenge the negative automatic thoughts or behaviours that are a consequence of these beliefs, rendering it a superficial solution compared to the many skills-based CBT apps available online.
Safety concerns: Safety is addressed only superficially with only general advice on seeking help if user is at risk. For example, if at risk, the user is asked to make contact with local psychiatric emergency services but no phone number or method for finding local services is given.
New Zealand relevance: Although this app is developed in New Zealand, it is marketed to other English speaking markets and therefore not adapted to a NZ audience. It does address issues relevant to New Zealanders such as living with Covid-19. Content is partly produced by American content developers and counsellors as well as crowd sourced through website.
Reviewer: Robynann Dyson, Primary Health Nurse, Whangarei
Date: October 2017
Comments: A very easy app to use and understand. Users just click on a statement that has relevance to them and it provides a better way of thinking about a negative perception. The app is effective, challenging, informative, well-structured and it encourages change thinking. It would also give insight to friends and family of people who suffer from depression and anxiety.
Safety concerns: None
New Zealand relevance: Fine
Reviewer: Member of the public, Leigh, Auckland
Date: May 2021
Comments: Really easy to use and I can always find an insight that helps me to think about myself more positively.
Reviewer: Member of the public, Auckland
Date: September 2019
Comments: This app has shifted my internal beliefs from a dark place.