We come across a lot of announcements for this new thing or that, and most of it is garbage. We do, however, like to promote ideas that we feel offer a valuable community service to both mental health consumers and professionals alike.
I’ve discovered two awesome mental health resources you probably didn’t know about, both of which are absolutely free. Whether you like mental health and psychology apps, or psychology and mental books, one of these services can have the potential to change your life.
Free Psychotherapy e-Books
Who doesn’t like a free book? Sure, it’s an e-book rather than a physical book. But what if I told you not only could you download one free e-book, but you can pick from nearly 1,500 free e-books on mental health, psychiatry, mental disorders, personality, and psychology?
You’d probably think I’ve lost the plot a bit, but honestly, I haven’t. What I have done is find this fantastic resource from the International Psychotherapy Institute that offers (currently) 1,459 psychotherapy e-books available for download. The best part? They are all free, and you can download and read as many of them as you’d like.
Now, granted, some of these “books” are actually just government-published brochures from the likes of the National Institute on Mental Health. But most of them appear to be actual e-books, mostly written for mental health professionals. But even non-professionals may benefit and enjoy reading some of these titles. Some of the most popular downloads include:
- The Technique of Psychotherapy by Lewis Wolberg
- The Self and Therapy by Jerome Levin, PhD
- Overcoming Our Relationship Fears Workbook by Lawrence Hedges, PhD
- Achieving Success with ADHD: Secrets from an Afflicted Professor of Medicine by David Sachar, MD
- Symbols in Psychotherapy by Charles Sarnoff, MD
Although the download process asks you to fill out some information like your email address, that form is completely optional and can be skipped if you’d like.
Ratings of Mental Health Apps
With thousands of health and mental health apps to choose from, how do you know which ones actually are worth your time for the download? To-date, there really hasn’t been any good way to understand the quality of apps available for download to your smartphone or tablet. Sure, you could go by user ratings in the app store you use, but those can be easily be gamed. And other people’s opinions don’t tell you anything about whether the app is based upon a solid research foundation and understanding of psychology.
PsyberGuide to the rescue! PsyberGuide is a project of The One Mind Institute (OMI)(formerly named the International Mental Health Research Organization, or IMHRO). It is a non-profit organization that is devoted to funding cures for brain illnesses.
PsyberGuide is overseen by the highly talented Michael Knable, who helps to keep the project on track, getting new apps to reviewers to conduct a thorough, scientific review of the app, and publishing those reviews on the website. The website lists hundreds of apps that have been reviewed by the project, including those focused on helping people with mood disorders, PTSD and other anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive training, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness, and symptom tracking.
So before you waste your time downloading a single new mental health app, spend a few minutes on the PsyberGuide website and check out what they have to say about the app. And if you want to help support the great work they’re doing, scroll down to the bottom of their homepage and click on the Donate button. Donations like yours help fund new reviews (which are expensive and time-consuming to produce, because they are so thorough).