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Apps for PTSD: A Professional Reviews the Products

PTSD
PTSD Coach Screenshots


Reviewed on: October 8, 2014

About this Professional

Dr. Alice Saperstein, Ph.D.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dr. Saperstein is a scientist-practitioner with expertise in cognitive remediation for people with serious mental illness. She currently directs a cognitive remediation program within the context of recovery-oriented outpatient psychiatric rehabilitation services.

Comparison of two PTSD apps: PTSD Coach and T2 Mood Tracker

Intended Purpose

PTSD Coach and T2 Mood Tracker are not intended or designed to replace traditional methods of psychological treatment for PTSD. Users will find both apps to be useful as self-help tools to independently monitor a range of symptoms commonly experienced by individuals exposed to trauma. Data collected by the app can be easily shared with a mental health care professional if used in conjunction with therapy. These two apps differ in their emphasis on symptom tracking or symptom management.

Symptom Tracking

Both PTSD Coach and T2 Mood Tracker include tools for symptom tracking.

  • PTSD Coach employs a measure that is commonly used by professionals in clinical and research settings, (PTSD Checklist) which can be completed on a weekly basis to track primary PTSD symptoms alongside use of symptom management tools.
  • T2 Mood Tracker is designed specifically for symptom monitoring. T2 Mood Tracker allows the user to rate a wider range of symptoms with respect to the emotional experiences of people affected by trauma, as well as the physical and cognitive symptoms that may occur. Each rating scale (e.g. Anxiety, Head Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress, etc) is multidimensional. A unique and valuable feature of T2 Mood Tracker is the option to create and personalize new rating scales so that the tool can be used in the most meaningful way for each individual.  T2 Mood Tracker includes an option to create notes to coincide with mood ratings, allowing the user to independently gain insight into symptom patterns over time. T2 Mood Tracker can generate a symptom rating file which can be saved and emailed to oneself and/or to a mental health professional.
Symptom Management
  • PTSD Coach is preferable for users seeking self-help tools for symptom management. This app allows the user to independently practice coping strategies commonly used in psychological treatments for depression and anxiety disorders. PTSD Coach includes guided imagery, audio-guided muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises, coping skills for dealing with triggers, and tools to reduce isolation and manage anxiety/stress. Users can customize symptom management features including the use of music, pictures, and personal contact lists.
  • T2 Mood Tracker does not include tools for symptom management.
Psychoeducation
  • PTSD Coach features numerous frequently asked questions and answers about PTSD, other disorders that can co-occur with PTSD, and information about treatment options.
  • T2 Mood Tracker does not include psychoeducation although contact information for the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) Outreach Center is provided for users to get additional information about psychological health or traumatic brain injury.
Links to Support
  • PTSD Coach provides direct access to multiple crisis resources, including a personalizable list of contacts imported from your mobile device, 911, or links to find appropriate professional care.
  • T2 Mood Tracker provides contact information for the DCoE Outreach Center, which is a resource for information, but does not serve as a treatment or counseling center.
Price

Both apps are free.

App Functionality

PTSD Coach and T2 Mood Tracker are available for Android and IOS platforms, however both apps provide better navigation and feature functionality when using an IOS device.  Android users of PTSD Coach commonly experience limited functionality of symptom management tools. Individuals who consider the PTSD Coach app for symptom management might also consider the web-based version of the program which offers a more extensive menu of well designed tools including those not provided by the mobile app, such as assertiveness skills training, goal setting tools, and practice in the use of problem-solving strategies to overcome barriers to goal attainment.

reviewed October 2014

Product details and where to get the products:  PTSD Coach   T2 Mood Tracker