CBTReferee App: Portable Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic approach that addresses maladaptive emotions and thoughts through a structured process, often involving the recording and analysis of one’s thoughts. This method is effective in treating various disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and OCD.

CBTReferee [iTunes Link] priced at $4.99US, was developed by Andrew Arrow as a personal aid for his therapist-guided CBT sessions. Initially created for personal use due to the inconvenience of carrying a notebook, the app was later released on the app store after positive user feedback.

The app provides a concise overview of CBT and instructions for its use.

It is designed to be straightforward without overwhelming the user with too much theory. When a negative thought strikes, the app prompts you to record it immediately. After logging the thought, the app displays a list of ten cognitive distortions that might apply to your thought.

These include extreme thinking patterns like ‘All or Nothing’ or ‘Emotional Reasoning’.

After selecting the relevant distortions, you move to a screen called ‘Referee Says’, where you write an objective response to challenge the thought. The final screen displays a log of all entries, which can be reviewed to identify patterns and improve objectivity over time.

While I found the list of cognitive distortions somewhat limited, the overall simplicity and structure of CBTReferee were impressive. The app is not a cure-all but serves as a useful tool for those who benefit from journaling and cognitive restructuring.

Despite its specific audience, CBTReferee offers valuable insights into personal thought processes and can help users refine their thinking patterns.

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Matthew is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts around the world. With a deep love for all things Apple, Matthew covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to MacBook innovations and Apple Watch updates. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex tech topics accessible to everyone. When he’s not writing, Matthew enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest Apple gadgets.